Bomber Crew: Taking On the Reich
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An account of the lives and raids of British bomber crews during the Second World War, based on original research and written by the author of 'THE DAMBUSTERS'.
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Description of this Book
During the Second World War aeronautical technology gathered rapid pace. By 1945, bombers had not only greatly increased in engine power and range, but the bombs which they carried rose from 250lbs to 10 tons; the navigator's pencil and rubber of 1939 had been supplemented by infinitely more sophisticated electronic aids. Yet the success or failure of each and every bomber still depended entirely on the efficiency of every member of the crew at his individual position, the interaction and co-operation of all crew members as a body. One member of 617 squadron graphically explained that 'every time we went out, it was seven men against the Reich'. Drawing on letters, journals and diaries, John Sweetman examines the lives the bomber crews lived, from the highs and lows of their missions to the complexities of their friendships and the impact their place in the war had on the families and loved ones they left behind. Part collective biography, part military history, part social history: this will remain the definitive account of the bomber crews of the Second World War for years to come.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||'This is a wholly compelling story of Bomber Command's war, using a mass of fresh sources. The accounts are brave, shocking, poignant and matter-of-fact, tales of ordinary men doing quite extraordinary things' Richard Holmes, author of TOMMY: THE BRITISH SOLDIER ON THE WESTERN FRONT; 'Excellent ... John Sweetman shows how the crews lived life on the edge' David Stafford, author of TEN DAYS TO D-DAY
||Munby is difficult to validate on any terms; those of the publisher's expectations for this voluminous selection from the diaries Derek Hudson excerpted from deed boxes at Trinity College along with his commentary; those of editor Hudson's hopes or contentions - that Munby anticipated a century of progress and helped to thwart the apartheid of class and sex ; or those of the general reader unless he is particularly interested in one of the stranger fruits of the Victorian era. Actually Munby, a minor poet and artist and Latin teacher with an active social life - sometimes including acquaintance with Rossetti and Ruskin and even Henry James - was a very epicene figure. Lewis Carroll had his little girls; Munby had his compassionate (?) collector's interest in women of the lower classes. A fetishist, his eye was always caught by large or reddened or grimy hands and there seems to have been some sort of inverse snobbery as well as sexuality in his salvific sponsorship of honest hard work and the absence of false shame in speaking of it. . . . It will all come together in his long relationship with one Hannah, at first his daily ( Poor child with her artless tender simplicity ) whom after more than eighteen years he married although the relationship continues to be as covert (he had to maintain its security aspect ?) and dualistic: it is not known whether he ever took her to bed; often she is still happily cleaning his fireplace; sometimes in the evening she can look like a lady without her mopcap. Although Hudson does refer to the benign perversity in Munby, he finds him far more chivalric than others are likely to do even if Hannah apparently happily collaborated, calling him Massa and reminding Americans, whom Munby found vulgar, of other less wholesome shades of serfdom. At best he's another anomaly of that great age of prurient virtue. (Kirkus Reviews)
John Sweetman worked for many years at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, first as Senior Lecturer in War Studies and then as Head of Defence and International Affairs. He is the author of numerous publications including the acclaimed and bestselling THE DAMBUSTERS.