Bomber Command: Battle of Berlin

Failed to Return

Steve Bond, Steve Darlow, Sean Feast, Andrew Macdonald, Dr Robert Owen, Howard Sandall, Nicole Russell

From the autumn of 1943 to the last days of winter in early 1944, RAF Bomber Command directly assaulted the German capital Berlin. The authors, utilising considerable primary source material piece together the remarkable, yet ultimately tragic stories of some of those lost fighting the Battle of Berlin.
Date Published :
July 2017
Publisher :
Fighting High Publishing
Illustration :
color and b/w photos throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9780993415272
Pages : 128
Dimensions : 10.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock. Available in 6-8 weeks


‘Tonight you are going to the Big City. You will have the opportunity to light a fire in the belly of the enemy that will burn his black heart out.’ The message from Commander-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command Sir Arthur Harris was clear. As the Second World War continued into a fifth year, the airmen of Bomber Command were to fly deep into hostile airspace and bring the war direct to the German Nazi capital Berlin. From the autumn of 1943 to the last days of winter in early 1944, during the hours of extended darkness, the bomber crews braved the flak, the searchlights, enemy night fighters and extremes of weather, to bombard the ‘black heart’. Prior to the all-out campaign against the ‘Big City’ Sir Arthur Harris firmly believed his bomber force could break the German will to wage war, but he also prophesied that ‘It will cost us between 400 and 500 aircraft’.

Fighting High Publishing brings together acclaimed Bomber Command historians to tell the story of some of the thousands of airmen who failed to return from operations as part of the 1943 and 1944 Bomber Command Battle of Berlin. The authors, utilizing family archives, personal testimony and records, wartime memoirs, diaries and letters, witness recollections, logbooks, and official documents, piece together the remarkable, yet ultimately tragic events surrounding the losses described. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished black and white and color photographs Bomber Command Battle of Berlin Failed to Return ensures the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice is kept alive. ‘We Will Remember Them’.

About The Author

Dr Steve Bond is a life-long aviation professional and historian. He served in the Royal Air Force for twenty-two years as an aircraft propulsion technician, with tours on many different aircraft, and was part of the Eurofighter Typhoon project team in the MoD. A fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, he is also the author of many magazine articles and books including: Heroes All, Special Ops Liberators (with Richard Forder), Wimpy, Meteor Boys, and Javelin Boys for Grub Street.

Steve Darlow is a Bomber Command historian and established military aviation author, with fourteen books to his name. Steve has made numerous radio and television appearances, and recently acted as program consultant on the BBC’s The Lancaster: Britain’s Flying Past and Channel 5’s War Hero in the Family (Robert Llewelyn). Steve is also an Ambassador of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Sean Feast is a Director and co-owner of Gravity London and the author of several books on World War II pilots.

Andy Macdonald has always been fascinated by the men and women of RAF Bomber Command. His great uncle, a Lancaster pilot, was killed in June 1943. 'He was my hero and one of my greatest inspirations.'

Dr Robert Owen is an aviation historian and the Official Historian of the No. 617 Squadron Association. A Trustee of both this Association and the Barnes Wallis Memorial Foundation, he has contributed to numerous publications and television documentaries, including authorship of the book Henry Maudslay Dam Buster. Dr Owen was also lead author on Dam Busters Failed to Return.

Howard Sandall is the No. 622 Squadron historian, the author of the squadron's history We Wage War By Night and contributor to D-Day and V-Weapons Bomber Command Failed to Return. His research into his uncle's time with Bomber Command has led to him expanding his interest to other squadrons with the aim of perpetuating memories for future generations.

Nicole Russell is a former BBC journalist and literary festival interviewer with an interest in female aviation history. During the Second World War her French mother grew up under Nazi occupation while her father was based at RAF Stradishall in Suffolk. Nicole is currently researching the role of women in Bomber Command V-Force.


“It would be impossible to try and tell the individual stories of over 2,000 individuals, but this book does give a fine insight into what life was like for these men and does help make a fitting memorial for them all. Add the photos and there will be much to interest the reader.”

- Military Model Scene

Superb "Bomber Harris" remains a controversial figure to this day, and Steve Bond's and others' accounts of the Battle of Berlin really don't throw that much light on the man, his motives and his methods, but it's all fascinating stuff and well worth a read.

- Books Monthly

“The book’s crisp layout, superb image reproduction and trademark large format hardback are standard for this publisher. Loss and death are prevalent, and the moody cover reinforces this, but the book gives a voice to the aircrew that can no longer speak for themselves.”

- Flightpath Magazine

“It's a moving read, and the sense of loss is reinforced by the inclusion of a photograph of the grave or memorial of each of them.”

- Flypast

“A highly recommended read, albeit a somewhat sobering one…This reviewer certainly hopes to see more in what will hopefully be a 'Failed to Return' series by Fighting High - a publisher who always excels in their quality of work.”

- Britain at War

“This book is a valuable addition to any collection of works on the history of Bomber Command. It does not seek to provide a comprehensive history of Bomber Command and nor is it intended to provide a rich source of material for modellers. This book will, however, provide plenty of inspiration to those interested in the subject with its tales of heroism and sacrifice.”

- Britmodeller

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