Bomber Command (Anglais) Broché – 1 novembre 1999
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Un livre très chaudement recommandé et qui ne constitue pas un hymne au Bomber Command même s'il rend un hommage appuyé au courage des équipages dont le taux de survie était particulièrement faible.
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In telling the story of Bomber Command, Hastings gathered wonderfully detailed information on 6 Bomber Squadrons that served at different stages of the war so you can understand what were the various challenges, how were they solved if at all, what airplanes did they have and what was good or bad about them. For most of the war it was a challenge to get to the targeted city. If there was lots of cloud cover, even at the end of the war those targets were canceled for another day.
But the books major theme was did Bomber Command contribute in defeating Nazi Germany. Was it the correct decision to dedicating such a great portion of Britains industrial capacity to building bombers versus different military equipment. The crux was – how were the bombers going to be used. It was decided that by bombing German cities, and terrorizing the civilians to such a point that they rise up against their government and force them to end the war. It was called 'area bombing' and that is what Bomber Command pursued to the great annoyance of the British Navy and Army. The last 3 years of the war the C-C of Bomber Command was Arthur Harris, and he fervently believed that he could bring Germany to it's knees through terror bombing. He resisted successfully from cooperating with the USAAF approach of strategic bombing. For example the Allies had the 'oil plan' – bomb Germany's oil producing facilities – it was an excellent idea and the bombing had a great impact on Germany's oil output – they had fighter aircraft, tanks, tucks but not enough fuel to train new crews adequately or even use them in the field. Harris used every trick he had up his sleeve to avoid sending his bombers after oil production facilities, because he was determined to continue his policy of area bombing of German cities.
Interesting fact I was not aware of: In the first few months of 1944 the Luftwaffe night fighters almost wiped out Bomber Command – then the P-51 Mustang showed up in force around spring and in the summer of 1944 basically killed all the experienced German pilots. From the end of summer 1944 Bomber Command and USAAF could bomb any place in Germany without much worries of resistance. One of the assignments for years to bombing strategy was to wipe out German airplane manufacturing – it did not. The Germans had more planes than pilots. The P-51 (a fighter not a bomber) took care of the Luftwaffe.
Fascinating book, that is a page turner, analyzing if the way bombers were used correct, was it correct to allocate such huge resources from the highly trained aircrews to building the bombers.
As I alluded to earlier, I got the MP3 CD version of this book because I prefer to listen to books. The MP3 CD was very easy to copy on to my computer to put on my phone.
I've read histories as good as this one, but never one better.
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