The Berlin Raids: 2r.A.F. Bomber Command Winter 1943/44

Martin Middlebrook, Author Viking Books $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-670-80697-3
No other bombing campaign in World War II against a single target was pressed so relentlessly for so long, and at such a cost, as British Bomber Command's seven-month campaign to break the German will by destroying Berlin. More than 10,000 sorties were launched, more than 30,000 tons of bombs dropped. Six hundred and seven British aircraft were lost. Balancing the cost of the campaign against advantages gained, the official Royal Air Force historian concluded early on that the Battle of Berlin ``was more than a failure. It was a defeat.'' Middlebrook ( The First Day on the Somme ) isn't so condemning, although he judges that Luftwaffe night-fighters in combination with ground anti-aircraft defenses hurt Bomber Command more than Bomber Command harmed Berlin. His straightforward narrative covers the 19 major raids, with a detailed description of three in particular, and includes recollections by British and German airmen as well as German civilians who weathered the storm that lasted throughout the winter of 1943-44. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-14-008146-6
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-304-35347-7
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