The storyofthe everyday heroismofbomber crews in 1944, a turning point in the war against Germany.
Bomber combat crews faced a wide arrayofperils as they flew over German territory. Burstsofheavy flak could tear the wings from their planes in a split second. Flaming bullets from German fighter planes could explode their fuel tanks, cut their oxygen supplies, destroy their engines. Thousandsofyoungmenwere shot, blown up, or thrown from their planes five miles above the earth; and even those who returned faced the subtler dangersofice and fog as they tried to land their batteredaircraft back home.
The winterof1944 was the most dangerous time to be a combatairman in RAF Bomber Command. The chancesofsurviving a tour were as low as one in five, and morale had finally hit rock bottom. In this comprehensive historyoftheairwar that year, Kevin Wilson describes the most dangerous periodofthe BattleofBerlin, and the unparalleled losses over Magdeburg, Leipzig and Nuremberg.
Men of Air reveals how these ordinarymencoped with the extraordinary pressureofflying, the lossoftheir colleagues, and the threatofdeath or capture. Brilliantly placing these stories within the context of The Great Escape, D-Day, the defeatofthe V1menace, and more, Wilson shows how the sheer grit and determination of these "MenofAir" finally turned the tide against the Germans.
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)|
About the Author
Kevin Wilson has spent most of his working life as a staff journalist on British national newspapers, including the Daily Mail and the Sunday Express. He is the author ofBlood and Fears and Airborne in 1943,also published by Pegasus Books.
Table of ContentsList of Illustrations ix
List of Maps xi
An Op Too Many 9
The Cauldron 24
The Cost of Courage 52
The Lesson of Leipzig 73
Revenge and Recrimination 98
Berlin or Bust 108
The Underground Air War 140
Massacre in the Moonlight 164
Making a Mark 199
Escape Lines in the Railway Desert 221
Training and Terror 244
Return to the Reich 268
The Longest Night 279
Squashing the Doodlebug 299
Throttling the Luftwaffe 316
One-way Tickets in the Transportation Plan 334
Back to Basics 349
The Beginning of the End 369