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Despatch on War Operations

Overview

This is a document of immense historical significance. Published here with an introduction by Sebastian Cox, a German viewpoint from Horst Boog, and a formerly confidential air staff memorandum commenting on the Despatch, it constitutes one of the most important records relating to the Second World War. Was Harris a hero or a war criminal? Today, because of his role in overseeing the large-scale bombing of German civilian targets, Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris is one of the most controversial figures of the Second ...
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Overview

This is a document of immense historical significance. Published here with an introduction by Sebastian Cox, a German viewpoint from Horst Boog, and a formerly confidential air staff memorandum commenting on the Despatch, it constitutes one of the most important records relating to the Second World War. Was Harris a hero or a war criminal? Today, because of his role in overseeing the large-scale bombing of German civilian targets, Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris is one of the most controversial figures of the Second World War. This Despatch, his official report on his war operations, gives Harris's own point of view in more detail than any other document. For many years Harris's Despatch was classified. When it was declassified it remained unpublished and was, in practice, accessible only to a small number of people who were 'in the know'. Now, for the first time, it is available in a form which will allow the general public to form its own opinion. In this document matter of fact descriptions of the destruction of entire cities sit side-by-side with technical considerations of bombing technique, defensive tactics, and striking power. Harris's concise, carefully-argued report was accompanied by numerous detailed statistical tables and graphs and these are all reproduced here.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Because of his role in overseeing the large-scale bombing of German civilian targets, British Air Chief Marshall Harris is one of the most controversial figures of WWII. In the Despatch, his long- classified official report on his war operations, are matter-of-fact descriptions of the destruction of entire cities, as well as technical considerations of bombing technique, defensive tactics, and striking power. With 13 photographs as well as an introduction by Sebastian Cox, A German viewpoint from Horst Boog, and a formerly confidential air staff memorandum commenting on the Despatch. 8.25x13.25". Distributed by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

For the serious student of air power this book is a must" but it also makes absorbing reading for anyone interested in the bomber offensive." Sir Michael Beetham, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Aerospace

Choice, June 96

"An excellent introductory essay ... Historians and others can at last make their own judgements.

"belongs in the library of anyone interested in the strategic bombing campaign ... a very worthwhile volume."

Canadian Military History

"Whatever your particular view on this debate, this offering is valuable." War in History

"This is a remarkable book, which will appeal not just to the second world war historian, but also to those who enjoy an insight into the way Whitehall operated 50 years ago." The Times

"... it is extremely difficult to approach the subject in a spirit of historical objectivity. This, however, [Sebastian Cox] has achieved admirably in a scrupulously fair introduction...followed by an invaluable paragraph-by-paragraph commentary, which shows where Harris was economical with the truth, made exaggerated claims or glossed over failures." Times Literary Supplement

"The Despatch is not just a facsimile reproduction of the document that was classified for many years...The 200 or so pages that make up the despatch are full of details on almost everything that went in to making Bomber command such a mighty weapon of war...it must surely take its place amongst the really outstanding works on Bomber Command in the Second World War."

Quote reference has been lost - DG is searching! 8.1.99

Times Higher Education Supplement, 25/7/97 - Air Marshal Sir Timothy Garden

"This is a remarkable book, which will appeal not just to the second world war historian, but also to those who enjoy an insight into the way Whitehall operated 50 years ago. There may even be lessons for today."

Contemporary British History, Vol 10, No 3, Autumn 96

"The omissions and distortions in the despatch are ably catalogued by Cox. His critique is intelligent and balanced."

Air Mail, Jan-March 96

"This book will not change the views of people "of a certain maturity", but it is a most valuable and interesting historical document."

"For the specialist, for reference, for those studying the brain and sinews of the Command rather than the chronological effect and deployment of their applications and yet, for those involved, a book difficult to put down."

Air Pictorial, Jan 96

"As a primary source of reference it is essential reading."

The Times, 6/11/95

Major news report on publication.

Stone and Stone Second World War Book Review

"While the Despatch and its appendices are full of interest and value, the publisher has vastly increased the overall impact of the book by adding several new sections to include other perspectives and to put the Desptach in its historical context."

Foreign and Security Policy web site, at http://www.tgarden.demon.co.uk/writings/articles/artharris.html

"This is a remarkable book, which will appeal not just to the World War 2 historian, but also to those who enjoy an insight into the way Whitehall operated 50 years ago. There may even be lessons for today.

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