Bomber Boys, Fighting Back 1940-1945

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The author is a war correspondent and employs the style of the journalist making this an involving and easy to read work. The research has been well done and tells the story of the people involved in a unique period of warfare. The book includes two of the traditional black and white plates sections, but also includes images, maps and sketches within the text body. Since 1945 a great deal has been written about the air war during World War Two. There are some excellent books covering the technology developed and employed, the political, tactical and strategic aspects, and detailed journal style accounts of the phases of the air war. Britain entered the war in 1939 ill-prepared. The development and production of improved fighter aircraft had been given priority. The RAF divided its fighting force into Fighter Command, Bomber Command and Coastal Command. By 1939 Fighter Command had just become a monoplane force, its biplanes only recently placed into reserve.

What no one can deny is the amazing courage of crews, not just in a single skirmish but night after night until they became casualties or completed their tour. Once the tour was complete another would soon begin. Maintaining morale against those combat pressures is a tribute to the men and the commanders. Bishop has brilliantly captured the human aspects of fighting the bomber war. He has painted a vivid picture of characters, feelings, motivations, determination, personal courage and the resilience of youth. This is an effective tribute to a generation of airmen who have been poorly treated by history.

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