The bomber war The Allied bomber offensive against Nazi Germany

Robin Neillands, 1935-2006

Book - 2001

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Subjects
Published
Woodstock, NY : Overlook Press 2001.
Language
English
Physical Description
448 p.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
1585671622
Main Author
Robin Neillands, 1935-2006 (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Neillands on the strategic air war against Germany is a valuable addition to World War II historiography, chronologically straightforward and admirably bias-free. Adducing substantial evidence, the book reaffirms the conclusion that strategic bombing didn't become effective until 1943, when men and machines were available to do major damage. The overall effort suffered from diverting resources to support the invasion of Europe, conservative tactics that did not exploit all the new technologies, and faulty target priorities, yet still loomed large in the Allied victory. Neillands balances British and American contributions, suggesting that Britain's much-maligned Bomber Command may have been more technically innovative than the U.S. Eighth Air Force, and he assesses Bomber Command chief Sir Arthur Harris about as well as he ever will be assessed. Further, the many anecdotes he provides are well chosen. Highly recommended, not least as a cogent counterargument to trendy demonizations of the strategic air war and its participants, most of whom are no longer alive to defend themselves. ((Reviewed July 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Raining terror from the sky is a 20th-century invention. Beginning in World War I and peaking with the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki in World War II, Neillands has provided a remarkably able synthesis of the extensive literature relating to the topic of bomber warfare. His command of the sources is impressive, which should be no surprise since he has written extensively on various topics in military history, (see, e.g., The Conquest of the Reich: D-Day to VE-Day). Neillands grapples with the moral issues surrounding the bombing of cities during World War II. He defends the now-controversial actions of British Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, who since the war has been roundly criticized for bombing civilian areas of German cities, in the February 1945 Dresden fire bombing. Neillands argues that war erodes humanity and that to defeat the Germans (who bombed London and other British cities), the Allies found it necessary to destroy German population centers associated with war production. Moralists can continue to argue the matter, but it would seem that the air war contributed significantly to the eventual demise of the Reich. Recommended for all collections. Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"A critique of strategic bombing as a whole, from its creation during the Great War until the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945," The Bomber War: The Allied Air Offensive Against Nazi Germany nevertheless focuses on the RAF and USAAF missions over German cities missions that have recently been branded as often little more than organized murder, given the number of civilian casualties. The author, Former Royal Marines Commando Robin Neillands (The Conquest of the Reich: D-Day to V-E Day), is a member of the British Commission for Military History. ( Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An authoritative study of the Allied bombing campaign against Nazi Germany draws on the recollections of British, American, Canadian, and other Allied pilots, as well as on those of German fliers and civilians, to explore the role and effectiveness of the campaign and the moral issues involved. 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A study of the Allied bombing campaign against Nazi Germany draws on the recollections of British, American, Canadian, and other Allied pilots, and those of German fliers and civilians, to explore the role and effectiveness of the campaign and the moral issues involved.