Firestorm Hamburg

The Facts Surrounding the Destruction of a German City, 1943

Martin Middlebrook

Date Published :
December 2021
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
24pp b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399013512
Pages : 432
Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In July 1943, a series of heavy bombing raids virtually destroyed the North German city of Hamburg. In one night alone, some 40,000 people were killed largely because of the terrible ‘firestorm’. To this day controversy rages as to the morality of these attacks and their consequences.

With his trademark thoroughness, Martin Middlebrook has delved deep into the archives to uncover the facts. As ever, he draws on copious eyewitnesses and participants – a total of 547 British, American and German. The testimonies of the Hamburg survivors are particularly revealing and harrowing providing a firsthand description of what it was like to be subjected to a prolonged and intense air attack.

Paradoxically while Hamburg was arguably Bomber Command’s greatest achievement it remains its - and Air Marshal Harris’ - most criticized. Often overlooked was the USAAF’s role and this together with the contribution to the failure of German air defenses of a new device, Window, are fully covered.

Firestorm Hamburg is a masterly description of a major air campaign and the Author’s aim of achieving a better understanding of the background, conduct and results is fully realized. He does not shirk from studying the moral dilemma.

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

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