A “meticulously documented” account that covers the RAF’s controversial attempt to end World War II by the aerial bombing of Berlin (Kirkus Reviews).
The Battle of Berlin was the longest and most sustained bombing offensive against one target in the Second World War. Bomber Command Commander-in-Chief, Sir Arthur Harris, hoped to wreak Berlin from end to end and produce a state of devastation in which German surrender was inevitable. He dispatched nineteen major raids between August 1943 and March 1944—more than ten thousand aircraft sorties dropped over thirty thousand tons of bombs on Berlin. It was the RAF’s supreme effort to end the war by aerial bombing. But Berlin was not destroyed and the RAF lost more than six hundred aircraft and their crews. The controversy over whether the Battle of Berlin was a success or failure has continued ever since.
Martin Middlebrook brings to this subject considerable experience as a military historian. In preparing his material he collected documents from both sides (many of the German ones never before used); he has also interviewed and corresponded with over four hundred of the people involved in the battle and has made trips to Germany to interview the people of Berlin and Luftwaffe aircrews. He has achieved the difficult task of bringing together both sides of the Battle of Berlin—the bombing force and the people on the ground—to tell a coherent, single story.
“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.” —Publishers Weekly