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Mission to Berlin: The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler's Reich

Overview

Robert F. Dorr's critically acclaimed World War II bombing narrative, now available in paperback format. The western Allies flew 314 bombing missions to Berlin between 1940 and 1945. Germany's capital was its largest city, the richest metropolitan center on the European continent, the sixth-largest city in the world—and it had been declared a legitimate military target. In Mission to Berlin, Robert F. Dorr - author of Hell Hawks! and Mission to Tokyo and one of today's most prolific military historians - takes ...

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Mission to Berlin: The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler's Reich

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Overview

Robert F. Dorr's critically acclaimed World War II bombing narrative, now available in paperback format. The western Allies flew 314 bombing missions to Berlin between 1940 and 1945. Germany's capital was its largest city, the richest metropolitan center on the European continent, the sixth-largest city in the world—and it had been declared a legitimate military target. In Mission to Berlin, Robert F. Dorr - author of Hell Hawks! and Mission to Tokyo and one of today's most prolific military historians - takes the reader on a World War II bombing mission from the airfields of England to Berlin and back. Told largely in the veterans' own words, Mission to Berlin offers the firsthand accounts of the pilots and the aircrew, ground crew, and escort fighters who accompanied the bombers on their perilous missions. Long stretches of quiet flight high above the fields of Europe were punctuated by moments of intense danger and adrenaline as German fighters pounced on the Allied aircrafts, flak slicing through hull and crew alike. Bomber crews also faced high-altitude induced cold temperatures, lack of oxygen, fires, and explosions of their own ordnance, as well as crash landings or bailouts that could kill them or turn them into prisoners of war. As they fought their way across Europe, hoping to beat the odds and survive the maximum thirty-five combat missions, they often thought, "I hope we get Hitler today," just as you should think "I hope I get Mission to Berlin today!"

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dorr's fascinating tale will be read at different levels, depending upon the knowledge of the reader. For some one just beginning to have an interest in World War II bombing operations, the author's overall picture of the powerful event will lure the reader into reading more, and the author provides an excellent bibliography for that purpose. The knowledgeable reader will savor Mission to Berlin for its intimate detail and the rarely seen level of information about aerial warfare in both large and small scale. And for the expert, the person every author dreads, sitting there reading, waiting to pounce on each and every error, Dorr will offer a genuine challenge - he makes no mistakes." - DEFENSE MEDIA NETWORK

"This is an excellent account of the Berlin campaign...Dorr takes readers on a World War II strategic bombing mission from the airfields of England to Berlin and back. This is 'you are there' reporting which covers all the players including pilots and other aircrew, ground crew, and escort fighters that accompanied the heavy bombers on their dangerous missions." - TUCSON CITIZEN

"In this fascinating volume, noted aviation historian Dorr uses official records, personal memoirs and first-person interviews to bring to vivid life the American airmen who braved flak, fighters, altitude and the elements to pound Adolf Hitler's capital into rubble and hasten the end of the Third Reich." - MILITARY HISTORY

"Having authored a multitude of books and articles on the Air Force and Air warfare, Dorr should be the best person to illuminate the plight of the men who flew over Berlin on February 3, 1945. During the Berlin mission the Eighth Air Force launched 2,385 combat aircrafts from East Anglia targeting "every subway station and every telephone pole in the city." Ostensibly, this is the story of four of the men who flew in those planes, specifically the "Flying Fortress" B-17, one of the most popular bombers of the European theatre. Those four men and their planes appear and reappear infrequently in the narrative. The book flits back and forth between their tales and those of a few hundred others while also intermingling stories of other flyers and other bombing runs. Pilots and dedicated fans of WWII aircraft will best appreciate this book and its details of the engines, guns, construction, and durability of the fighters and bombers that leveled Germany. At its core, this is a book about planes, not about men." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"[Dorr] has written a great account of American aicrews flying dangerous missions deep into the heart of Nazi Germany...Allied airmen suffered massive losses, and many were killed or taken prisoner. Dorr has done a magnificent job telling their story." - WWII HISTORY MAGAZINE

"Mission to Berlin provides not only a detailed description of an Allied bombing campaign during World War II, but also an up-close and personal look at the individuals involved. Each part of the mission is described in a way that makes the reader feel that he or she is actually there, seeing what was going on as it happened. It makes readers appreciate the courage and skill of those who fought in the deadly skies over the 3rd Reich. " - BOWLING GREEN DAILY NEWS

Publishers Weekly
Having authored a multitude of books and articles on the Air Force and Air warfare, Dorr should be the best person to illuminate the plight of the men who flew over Berlin on February 3, 1945. During the Berlin mission the Eighth Air Force launched 2,385 combat aircrafts from East Anglia targeting "every subway station and every telephone pole in the city." Ostensibly, this is the story of four of the men who flew in those planes, specifically the "Flying Fortress" B-17, one of the most popular bombers of the European theatre. Those four men and their planes appear and reappear infrequently in the narrative. The book flits back and forth between their tales and those of a few hundred others while also intermingling stories of other flyers and other bombing runs. Pilots and dedicated fans of WWII aircraft will best appreciate this book and its details of the engines, guns, construction, and durability of the fighters and bombers that leveled Germany. At its core, this is a book about planes, not about men. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760345931
  • Publisher: Zenith Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 623,427
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert F. Dorr is an air force veteran (Korea, 1957 - 1960) and the author of sixty books. He has written thousands of articles for publications like Air and Space Smithsonian, Flight Journal, Air Forces Monthly, Air Power History, Aerospace America, and Air Force Times. Dorr lives with his family in Oakton, Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Wake Up 1

Chapter 2 Starting 21

Chapter 3 Warm Up 39

Chapter 4 Struggling 55

Chapter 5 Way Up 75

Chapter 6 Mission to Berlin 93

Chapter 7 The way In Part I 113

Chapter 8 Striving 121

Chapter 9 The Way In Part Ii 131

Chapter 10 B 17 Stories B 24 Stories 141

Chapter 11 Thirty Seconds over Berlin 159

Chapter 12 Squabbling 179

Chapter 13 The Way Out 195

Chapter 14 Mission to Magdeburg 209

Chapter 15 The Way Home 233

Chapter 16 Wheels Down 239

Chapter 17 Wrap Up 257

Acknowledgments 275

Appendixes

1 Some Aircraft on the Mission to Berlin February 3, 1945 277

2 Some Aircraft of the Air Campaign, December 7, 1941 to May 8, 1945 287

3 The Bomber Stream 293

4 What Happened to Them? 301

Notes 307

Bibliography 314

Index 317

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Highly Recommended.

    I bought this book for my father- a WWII gunner on B-24's. He thoroughly enjoyed the book. He commented on what a good read it was. Dad enjoyed the stories and the detail provided. We plan to share with his 8th Air Force group when they get together next month as a “Must Read”!

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