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Good read on WW1 Bomber Command

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  • Good read on WW1 Bomber Command

    I thought this was quite a good book on Bomber Command, Men Of Air: The Doomed Youth of Bomber Command by Kevin Wilson.

    Wilson starts his account from Winter of 1943. He takes the reader through the major campaigns waged by BC until end of 1944.

    His book is a mix of historical narration and personal accounts of aircrew. The latter is not just a sprinkling at strategic points to give a personal feel. On practically every page, he interleaves personal accounts of aircrew with the main text. This does get a little laborious to read after a while. While the aircrew's efforts are undoubtedly heroic, they are nonetheless very similar. Sudden nightfighter attack, engines on fire, bailing out etc.

    Night bombing in WW2 is generally accepted to be highly inaccurate. However, the author repeatedly highlights personal accounts that describe bombers not dropping their loads until they are sure that the target has been identified. As the bombers orbited, either waiting for the bomb command or the cloud cover to clear, inevitably flak and nightfighters take their toll. He is no doubt keen to pay tribute to the BC crews.

    Overall, I felt that this is a good primer on Bomber Command from winter 1943 onwards. It highlights all the major campaigns and their impacts on the war. In addition, it describes in their own words, the operational experiences of the aircrews that flew the hazardous missions.

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