The Men Who Flew the Heavy Bombers
RAF and USAAF Four-Engine Heavies in the Second World War
Imprint: Pen and Sword Aviation
232 Pages, 6 x 9.25 in, 60 black and white illustrations
- August 2022
- In Stock
Hundreds of hours of painstaking and fact-finding research and interviews and correspondence with numerous airmen and women and their relatives, in Britain, America and beyond has been woven into a highly readable and emotional outpouring of life and death in combat over the Third Reich as the men of the RAF and Commonwealth and American air forces describe in their own words the compelling, gripping and thought-provoking narrative of the Combined Bomber Offensive in World War Two, which resulted from the RAF nocturnal onslaught and the American unescorted precision attacks on targets throughout the Reich until the P-51 Mustang escort fighters enabled the 8th to assume the mantle of the leading bombing partner in theatre.
February and March 1945 saw the most intense bombing destruction when Nazi defences were minimal or absent and the war was all but over. Final victory in May 1945 came at a high price indeed.
Half of the U.S. Army Air Forces' casualties in World War II were suffered by Eighth Air Force, with in excess of 47,000 casualties, with more than 26,000 dead. RAF Bomber Command lost 55,573 men killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew and 8,403 wounded in action while 9,838 became prisoners of war.
RAF and American bomber crews could, therefore be forgiven for thinking they had won a pyrrhic victory; one that had taken such a heavy toll that negated any true sense of achievement, though, if nothing else, the human effort spent by RAF Bomber Command and the Eighth Air Force did pave the way for the Soviet victory in the east.
"...suited for younger readers who, perhaps, would like to learn how their grandfathers and great-grandfathers attacked Germany and survived." ~Air & Space Power History