Sledgehammers for Tintacks

Bomber Command Combats the V-1 Menace, 1943 - 1944

Steve Darlow

Date Published :
June 2009
Publisher :
Grub Street Publishing
Illustration :
24 pages of photos and diagrams
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781902304960
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.25 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock


In the summer of 1944, in the skies over Southern England, a new era in international warfare began. A German reprisal weapon, called the V1 or 'flying bomb', launched from occupied France, would bring indiscriminate terror and panic to the civilian population of London and the home counties. The German High Command hoped the weapon would not only revenge the Allied bombing of their homeland, but seriously hinder Allied invasion plans. The Allies tried desperately to prevent this new scourge diverting their attention from D-day and the liberation of Western Europe. It was the job of RAF's Bomber Command to combat the new threat and in June the Deputy Supreme Commander, Sir Arthur Tedder, wrote 'from 23 June the offensive went forward with full vigour…Though…I advised that air action could reduce, but not exterminate the menace', since bombing the sites was 'using a sledgehammer for a tintack'.

This book gives an account of how this massive strategic bombing force was used to counter the flying bomb threat and how the airmen from the Commander-in-Chief right down to the aircrews and groundcrews acted upon the decisions made. Decisions which would lead to many Allied airmen suffering serious injury, many losing their lives or being captured by the enemy. Decisions which would inflict further misery upon the oppressed population of the occupied countries. Decisions which were made in the belief that they would give some relief to the population of Southern England.

The author details all raids against flying bomb targets and also covers raids against other German secret weapon targets. The story is told using fascinating photographic coverage, previously unpublished records, intelligence information and graphic first hand accounts provided by Bomber Command veterans, Luftwaffe night fighter veterans and accounts from French people who witnessed the whole German operation from the construction of the secret weapon installations to the launching of the flying bombs.

About The Author

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.

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