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The Allied Bomber War

The Allied Bomber War

Ref: 3364

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{detailed description}At the beginning of 1991, a tense and apprehensive audience throughout the world watched spellbound on their television screens as dramatic video recordings revealed the precision of American and British bombing in the war against Iraq. Laser guided 'smart' bombs and cruise missiles clinically destroyed bridges, communication towers and command and control facilities, even disappearing down the ventilation shafts of hardened bunkers. No one could any longer doubt that years of intense technological development had at last unleashed an awesome prospect of precise destruction.
No such capability was generally available to the Allied bomber forces in the Second World War. It was calculated in 1941 that only 7 per cent of the bombs dropped on the Ruhr landed within 5 miles of their intended target. Even late in the war, 95 per cent exploding within 2 to 3 miles was considered quite acceptable. Throughout the greater part of the war the ever expanding power of Bomber Command could be employed only at night against area targets, to degrade the enemy's industrial base and destroy the morale of their citizens. The US Air Force, operating by day, were forced to wage a relentless battle over Germany against the Luftwaffe's fighter defences to even sustain their offensive at all. At the end of 1943 the result was still very much in the balance. Only in the last year of the war, with the Luftwaffe subjugated if not defeated, were the Allied bombers able to range more or less freely over Germany causing widespread destruction and making a major contribution to the successful conclusion of the conflict. It was all a far cry from those pre-war pundits who prophesied that strategic bombing would change the very nature of warfare or that 'the bomber would always get through'. It is, in the circumstances, not surprising that the strategic bomber offensive still remains today one of the most controversial aspects of that conflict 50 years ago.
In the first part of this major study of the Allied Bomber War, Maurice Harvey. examines the strategy - and illusions -which shaped the direction of the
bomber offensive, the aircraft, men and weapons with which it was fought, and the infrastructure which supported it. The second part describes the bomber offensive as it unfolded, the controversies which surrounded its policy direction, and the courage, skill and sacrifice of the bomber crews who participated. It draws together the British and American contributions to the 'Combined Bomber Offensive' and analyses their effectiveness. It is illustrated with over 160 photographs and 16 original paintings by Bob Murray, the distinguished aviation artist.
The author is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies, and retired from the RAF in 1991 having achieved the rank of Air Commodore.
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Maurice Harvey
Book Club Associates 1992 207pp profusely illustrated, index, appendix, bibliography. 22x28
{condition}near fine, including d/j.
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