The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission

The American Raids on 17 August 1943

Martin Middlebrook

Date Published :
July 2012
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
32 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781848847606
Pages : 368
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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On 17 August 1943, the entire strength of the American heavy bomber forces in England set out to raid two major industrial complexes deep in southern Germany, the vast Messerschmitt aircraft factory and the vital KGF ballbearing plant. For American commanders it was the culmination of years of planning and hope, the day when their self-defending formations of the famous Flying Fortress could at last perform their true role and reach out by daylight to strike at targets in the deepest corners of industrial Germany. The day ended in disaster for the Americans. Thanks to the courage of the aircrews the bombers won through to the targets and caused heavy damage, but sixty were shot down and the hopes of the American commanders were shattered. Historically, it was probably the most important day for the American air forces during the Second World War.

While researching this catastrophic raid the Author interviewed hundreds of the airmen involved, German defenders, ‘slave workers’ and eye witnesses. This took him twice to both the USA and Germany.

The result is a mass of fresh, previously unused material with which the author finally provides the full story of this famous day’s operations. Not only is the American side described in far greater depth than before but the previously vague German side of the story – both the Luftwaffe action and the civilian experiences in Schweinfurt and Regensburg, are now presented clearly and in detail for the first time. The important question of why the RAF did not support the American effort and follow up the raid on Schweinfurt as planned is also fully covered.

About The Author

Martin Middlebrook has written many other books that deal with important turning-points in the two world wars, including The First Day on the Somme, Kaiser's Battle, The Peenemünde Raid, The Somme Battlefields (with Mary Middlebrook) and The Nuremberg Raid 30-31st March 1944 (all republished and in print with Pen and Sword).

Martin Middlebrook is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives near Boston, Lincolnshire


" One of the Greatest Air Battles fought in World War II. Mr Middlebrook is a meticulous English researcher whose work on RAF Bomber Command is legendary. This book was Mr Middlebrooks first attempt presenting the American perspective of the Air War and he chose one of the most vicious, 60 B-17's and over 600 men were lost on this mission. Martin has taken this battle and presented it from both sides by using the interviews from the participants along with official documents and photos. The scope and size of this Air Battle and Middlebrook's attention to detail makes this a compelling read for those interested in the 8th Air Force. The interviews with the participants and letting them tell the story vs the author is what makes this book special and worth buying. Mr Middlebrook has researched this book to the point he feels he has solved the decades old mystery of the "Wheels Down" event which has haunted the 100th Bomb Group. You will need to read the book to understand the event and his research. Suffice it to say that his documentation provides some very compelling proof this event happened to another group. My view point on the incidents vary's but no matter who you believe, the wheels down incident will forever be associated with "the Bloody Hundredth". You will enjoy this book immensely, I did!"

- Michael P. Faley, 100th Bomb Group Historian & Photo Archives

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