RAF BOMBER COMMAND OPERATIONS MANUAL
AN IN-DEPTH AND HIGHLY READABLE ACCOUNT OF BOMBER COMMAND
Author: Jonathan Falconer Publisher: Haynes Price: £25.00
Jonathan Falconer established his reputation as an expert in military aviation with his books on the Dambusters and a previous work on Bomber Command. He has now produced a more detailed and highly readable account of Bomber Command, covering every aspect of the force that played such a determining role in Germany’s defeat in World War II.
“Strategic bombing was the major innovation of the Second World War,” the author explains, “wielded by the Allies to break the will of the German people and hasten the collapse of their war economy”. The book gives a detailed account of how this task was achieved, from the conception of Bomber Command in 1936, taking the reader step by step through the construction of airfields, the aircrew that flew the missions, the fleet that developed and produced the iconic Lancaster heavy bomber, the weaponry, the planning and execution of raids, along with an assessment of the effectiveness of these costly operations. There is also an in-depth analysis of the German air defence network that the pilots of Bomber Command needed to penetrate to strike at the heart of the Reich.
By 1943, Bomber Command could boast a heavy-duty force, flown by highly trained crews and using the latest advances in radar technology that enabled them to drop their bombs squarely on target. The six-year bomber offensive cost the lives of 55,000 airmen and the destruction of more than 8,000 aircraft. As the author concludes, “Whether it hastened the end of the war in Europe remains a hotly-debated issue, but the bravery of the men who flew by day and night with Bomber Command is an undisputed fact.”
“STRATEGIC BOMBING WAS THE MAJOR INNOVATION OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR”