This book is historically rich in detail with previously unpublished photographs from private archives. The concept of an aerial campaign on a nation’s industrial and military might was advocated by Britain before the start of the First World War; however, a stringent post-war economy ensured that the creation of Bomber Command in 1936 witnessed a daunting disparity between the aim of striking at an adversary’s ability to sustain itself and the means to do so. From 1939 to 1942, Bomber Command was very weak in terms of human and material losses. The navigational means with which to accurately guide bombers to targets was almost completely lacking while the enemy defensive network inflicted serious casualties. Consequently, the punishment handed out was minimal. The resurgence of Bomber Command’s fortunes coincided with the appointment of Sir Arthur Harris.
The advent of four-engine designs such as the Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax ensured that a greatly increased bomb tonnage could be delivered. Also, electronic aids such as Gee, Oboe and H2S simplified the task in finding targets. Therefore, by 1944-1945, the RAF’s bombers pulverised Hitler’s Third Reich.
Although flak and night-fighters took a heavy toll on the bombers, the RAF’s nocturnal offensive in conjunction with the USAAF’s daylight assaults crippled Germany’s ability to fight back.