Bombs Away!: The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe

Overview

Bombs Away! covers strategic bombing in Europe during World War II, that is, all aerial bombardment of a strategic nature which took place between 1939 and 1945. In addition to American (U.S. Army Air Forces) and British (RAF Bomber Command) strategic aerial campaigns against Germany, this book covers German use of strategic bombing during the Nazi’s conquest of Europe: the Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, and the V 1 and V 2, where the Luftwaffe targeted Warsaw and Rotterdam (known as the Rotterdam ...

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Bombs Away!: The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe

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Overview

Bombs Away! covers strategic bombing in Europe during World War II, that is, all aerial bombardment of a strategic nature which took place between 1939 and 1945. In addition to American (U.S. Army Air Forces) and British (RAF Bomber Command) strategic aerial campaigns against Germany, this book covers German use of strategic bombing during the Nazi’s conquest of Europe: the Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, and the V 1 and V 2, where the Luftwaffe targeted Warsaw and Rotterdam (known as the Rotterdam Blitz). In addition, the book covers the blitzes against London and the bombing of other British industrial and port cities, such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Southampton, Manchester, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff, and Coventry bombed during the Battle of Britain.

The twin Allied campaigns against Germany—the USAAF by day, the RAF by night—built up into massive bombing of German industrial areas, notably the Ruhr, followed by attacks directly on cities such as Hamburg, Kassel, Pforzheim, Mainz, Cologne, Bremen, Essen, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Dortmund, Frankfurt, and the still controversial fire-bombing of Hamburg and Dresden. In addition to obvious targets like aircraft and tank manufacturers, ball bearing factories and plants that manufactured abrasives and grinding wheels were high priority targets.

Petroleum refineries were a key target with USAAF aircraft based in North Africa and later Italy, bombing the massive refinery complexes in and around Ploesti, Romania, until August 1944 when the Soviet Red Army captured the area. Other missions included industrial targets in southern Germany like Regensburg and Schweinfurt.

Missions to the Nazi capital, Berlin, started in 1940 and continued through March 1945. Throughout the war there were 314 air raids on Berlin.

All of this is covered in detail with authoritative text and hundreds of archival photographs, many rare or never before published.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

AIR & SPACE SMITHSONIAN
"A gorgeous coffee-table book with 450 archival photographs, Bombs Away! documents strategic bombing from the perspective of both Allied and Luftwaffe air crews.

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"Bombs Away! is an extensive, in-depth reference recommended for any military collection in general and libraries specializing in World War II events in particular. It covers strategic aerial bombardment in Europe between 1939 and 1945 and documents particular aerial campaigns against Germany and the German use of strategic bombing in Europe. Rare photos - many in color - pack a survey which considers the machines, flyers, and strategy involved, documenting the evolution of air war from its roots in World War I to the campaigns that were led across Europe.

BOOKVIEWS BY ALAN CARUBA
"One publishing company, Zenith Press, devotes itself to reporting the events of war and, especially, World War Two. Their latest, a large format—coffee table—book is Bombs Away! The World War II Bombing Campaigns Over Europe by John R. Bruning and it is extraordinary. While battles were being fought on the ground with tanks, troops, and artillery, it was the war from the skies that rendered the relentless destruction of cities and specific military targets. Both the Nazis and the allies developed air warfare to a point never previously achieved. Bruning is among a handful of great military historians and his earlier books on “The Battle of the Bulge”, “The Air Battle for Korea”, and others are testimony to that. Filled with page after page of photos, this latest chapter from World War Two will provide hours of great reading while paying tribute to those whom we have come to call “the greatest generation.”

BOOK PLEASURES
"Covering the major campaigns, the strategies, the planes, and most of all, the people involved, “Bombs Away” uses superior prose, quotes, and stunning photographs to bring the story of the air war in Europe to life in a powerful and unforgettable way.

HISTORY WIRE
"This comprehensive and gripping book details the birth of aerial warfare in World War I (Who called it the "war to end all wars?"), but concentrates mainly on the European bombing during World War II."

TUCSON CITIZEN
"In fourteen chapters, all supplemented with more than 450 images, the six years of the bombing campaigns are brought into sharp focus. This is a monumental work and it reflects exceptional historical reporting.

FEATHERED QUILL BOOK REVIEWS
"The skies are empty now and the pilots and crews who fought these violent battles above the burning cities of Europe are mostly gone to their reward, knowing that they fought to defend freedom in their countries. I'm sure that when they had flown a few missions the romance of battle paled and they realized that their futures looked grim indeed. The ones who got home carried a lot of baggage with them as they do today. Only Hollywood could find this glamorous. The reality of war shouldn't fade from our memories as these brave people fought for our freedom and should never be forgotten. This book will help keep those memories alive.

BOOK BARGAINS AND PREVIEWS
"I am a WWII buff and collector. I collect memorabilia as well as books. And I found Bombs Away! to be a keeper! This is a wonderful keepsake that includes photographs and information on all air battles fought over Europe during WWII. It also includes some photos of WWI campaigns as well. The information comes from those who have been there; those who themselves fought in this war, and from various countries. Needless to say, I loved this book and it will be prominently displayed in my library."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760339909
  • Publisher: MBI Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/22/2011
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John R. Bruning has been a professional military historian and writer since 1990. He is the author of Crimson Sky: The Air Battle for Korea, The Battle of the Bulge: The Photographic History of an American Triumph, Ship Strike Pacific, Luck of the Draw, and The Devil’s Sandbox: With the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry at War in Iraq. He served as an embedded civilian historian with the 2/162 during Operation Southern Comfort, the post–Hurricane Katrina relief operation in New Orleans. Bruning also has numerous articles, documentaries, multimedia CD-ROM programs, flight simulators, and museum displays to his credit. He lives in Independence, Oregon.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    History made in these pictures and narratives

    This book includes all air battles fought over Europe during the years of WWII and also includes some of the campaigns of WWI. The stories of battles that were fought decades ago by brave men from many countries across the world are still written about and told today. These air battles spread across the bullet and bomb strewed skies and destroyed thousands of aircraft built in the factories of many nations. Going down to their final resting places were men and boys of power, foresight and purpose. Some died fighting for the freedom of their country and some limped their aircraft into fields and waited to fly off in a few days to do the same thing all over again. You will see the battlefield at Verdun that still shows the shell-torn landscape that has not and never will fully heal. There are many fields like this that will take you back to the huge struggle to control the skies over Europe during the years of trying to defeat the Nazis until the allies finally succeeded. You will see many of the places where these clashes took place for example: the off the beaten track of an old 8th Air Force bomber station, its runways cracked and covered with weeds; local museums in small and large towns filled with planes or memoribilia of a time that now exists only in old men's memories. But these men cannot tell the whole story of what occurred in the skies during those six years of WWII by themselves, the pictures in this book add so much to their stories. Using this book, you can be there when the Memphis Belle completed her last mission and when the Norden Bomb Sight was invented. It was said that this bomb sight could put a bomb in a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet. Also, read about Jimmy Doolittle, the Eighth Air Force commander and, of course, a brief glimpse of the crew who flew the Enola Gay to Japan. You will see history made in these pictures and narratives showing the V-1 and V-2 rockets that the country of Germany were making and the cities that were destroyed. The skies are empty now and the pilots and crews who fought these violent battles above the burning cities of Europe are mostly gone to their reward, knowing that they fought to defend freedom in their countries. I'm sure that when they had flown a few missions the romance of battle paled and they realized that their futures looked grim indeed. The ones who got home carried a lot of baggage with them as they do today. Only Hollywood could find this glamorous. The reality of war shouldn't fade from our memories as these brave people fought for our freedom and should never be forgotten. This book will help keep those memories alive. Quill Says: The author, John R. Bruning, has given us, in pictures and narrative, a true and concise picture of what these aviators went through to keep their countries safe from harm. Pick this book up and read it thoroughly. It is a real eye-opener.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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