Big Week: Six Days that Changed the Course of World War II

Big Week: Six Days that Changed the Course of World War II

by Bill Yenne
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In just six days, the United States Strategic Air Forces changed the course of military offense in World War II. During those six days, they launched the largest bombing campaign of the war, dropping roughly ten thousand tons of bombs in a rain of destruction that would take the skies back from the Nazis . . .

The Allies knew that if they were to invadeSee more details below

Overview

In just six days, the United States Strategic Air Forces changed the course of military offense in World War II. During those six days, they launched the largest bombing campaign of the war, dropping roughly ten thousand tons of bombs in a rain of destruction that would take the skies back from the Nazis . . .

The Allies knew that if they were to invade Hitler’s Fortress Europe, they would have to wrest air superiority from the mighty Luftwaffe.

The plan of the Unites States Strategic Air Forces was extremely risky. During the week of February 20, 1944—and joined by the RAF Bomber Command—the USAAF Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force bombers took on this vital mission. They ran the gauntlet of the most heavily defended air space in the world to deal a death blow to Germany’s aircraft industry and made them pay with the planes already in the air. In the coming months, this Big Week would prove a deciding factor in the war.

Both sides were dealt losses, but whereas the Allies could recover, damage to the Luftwaffe was irreparable. Thus, Big Week became one of the most important episodes of World War II and, coincidentally, one of the most overlooked—until now.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1944, British and American military leaders knew that for the land invasion of Western Europe to succeed, the Allies would have to cripple both the German Luftwaffe and the country's aircraft manufacturing industry. Military historian Yenne (Aces High) uses memoirs of the pilots and commanding officers on both sides as well as official sources to document how the Allied thinking on aerial bombing campaigns evolved from tactical raids with limited aims to a strategic doctrine that included wiping out critical armament production centers in order to change the course of the war. But that evolution did not occur overnight and Yenne explores how the younger generation of military men gradually convinced their elders, who had cut their teeth in WWI, that to defeat the Third Reich, new thinking was essential. Those realizations culminated in the aerial assault on Germany during a rare week of clear weather in February that allowed the allied air forces to rain down 10,000 tons of bombs on key German factory cities. Yenne's sure prose and sharp insights on the men and aircraft that cleared the way for the Allies to launch the Normandy Invasion is a gripping account that aficionados of the era will savor.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“Well-written and fast-paced, this will be compelling to specialists and general readers alike.”—Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews
Military and aviation historian Yenne (U.S. Guided Missiles, 2012, etc.) documents the events of the week beginning February 20th, 1944, during which Nazi Germany's aircraft industry and air defenses were destroyed, contributing to the preparation for the D-Day invasion. The author provides a day-by-day account of what took place as German industrial facilities were targeted for attack. Yenne skillfully situates the action, pulling together various threads. He summarizes briefly the history of strategic bombing from its origins in Italy and Russia during World War I, and he highlights the recruitment and deployment of the intelligence teams that profiled the German economy and war machine to identify bottlenecks and target them to be destroyed. Yenne examines the creation and development of the many aircraft armadas that took to the skies that February from their bases in eastern England. This is an amazing story in which planning and organization--such as the ever-increasing flow of materiel into the U.K.--combined perfectly with ingenuity and luck (the weather in that February week was ideal but almost unprecedented). Yenne then takes up the effectiveness of the America's daytime bombing campaign as both the number of bombers and the range of their fighter escorts increased. Ultimately, the setbacks of late 1943, when losses of bombers and flight crews to German air defense forces became almost unsustainable, were reversed. Yenne also shows how the bombing campaign finally helped break the back of Hitler's war economy. Well-written and fast-paced, this will be compelling to specialists and general readers alike.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101618967
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/31/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
276,758
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Well-written and fast-paced, this will be compelling to specialists and general readers alike.”—Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >