This is the poignant and exciting story of a statistical anomaly, a B-24 bomber crew that completed 50 combat missions in World War II. This crew was part of the famous 450th Bomb Group, which was nicknamed the “Cottontails” because of their white rudders. As part of the 15th Army Air Force, they flew strategic bombing missions out of Manduria, Italy (in the heel of the boot) and struck strategic targets which were out of the reach of the 8th Army Air Force bases in England. The group lost 1,505 airmen in only a year and a half—the equivalent of losing their effective flying strength three times over. The book’s title comes from the crew’s bomber, Shadow, which in turn was named for the pilot’s black cocker spaniel that flew with them on training missions. Based on interviews with the surviving crewmembers and their families as well as extant archival source material, the book details the childhood, training and post-war life of each of its 13 principal characters. Chapter One is a discussion of each man’s boyhood years and Chapter Two provides details of the training that each received. In Chapter Three, the original crew of ten (Crew #4-N-33) was formed in Clovis, New Mexico. An assignment for training in Clovis and in B-24s meant that the crew had been designated for heavy bombardment. Chapter Four includes a description of the four main objectives for the crew, one of which was to participate in POINTBLANK, the Combined Bomber Offensive, which called for the destruction of German fighter aircraft plants, ball bearing plants, oil refineries, rubber plants, munitions factories, sub pens and bases. Details of the structural components of most missions are provided in Chapter Five. The crew completes its first missions in Chapter Six. In Chapter Seven, “Shadow” completes its last after taking enemy fire, and Chapter Eight introduces a new plane, Sleepy Time Gal. The book’s Epilogue contains information about the post-war lives of the crew.
The United States relied heavily on bombing to defeat the Germans and the Japanese in World War II, and air raids were touted as “precision” bombing in American propaganda. But was precision possible over cloud-covered Europe or a darkened Japanese countryside? Could the vaunted Norden optical bombsight in fact “drop bombs into pickle barrels” as advertised? Were the American aircrews well trained and well protected? How good were their airplanes? What were the results of the costly raids? This work sets suppositions against facts surrounding the United States’ use of strategic bombing in World War II. Chapters cover the events leading up to World War II; the start of the war; the seers and the planners; the airplanes, bombs, bombsights, and aircrews; the planes Germany used to defend itself against American planes; the five cities (Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki) that experienced the most destruction; and the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey of the damage done by aerial bombing. The book also probes the government’s myth-building statements that supported America’s view of itself as a uniquely humanitarian nation, and analyzes the role played by interservice rivalry—“battleship admirals” against “bomber generals.”
Eine provozierende These: Die deutsche Literatur hat vor dem Grauen des Luftkriegs versagt. Mit analytischer Schärfe und großem Materialreichtum markiert Sebald eine Wunde in der Nachkriegsliteratur, die bis heute nicht verheilt ist. Seine herausfordernde Untersuchung wird ergänzt durch einen Essay, mit dem Sebald auf die erregten Diskussionen antwortet.
An Annotated Bibliography of English-Language Sources
Author: Donal Sexton
The Western European and Mediterranean Theaters in World War II is a concise, comprehensive guide for students, teachers, and history buffs of the Second World War. With an emphasis on the American forces in these theaters, each entry is accompanied by a brief annotation that will allow researchers to navigate through the vast amount of literature on the campaigns fought in these regions with ease. Focusing on all aspects surrounding the U.S. involvement in the Western European and Mediterranean theaters, including politics, religion, biography, strategy, intelligence, and operations, this bibliography will be a welcome addition to the collection of any academic or research library. Routledge Research Guides to American Military Studies provide concise, annotated bibliographies to the major areas and events in American military history. With the inclusion of brief critical annotations after each entry, the student and researcher can easily assess the utility of each bibliographic source and evaluate the abundance of resources available with ease and efficiency. Comprehensive, concise, and current—Routledge Research Guides to American Military Studies are an essential research tool for any historian.
The Most Risky, Most Glorious US Bomber Mission of WWII
Author: Stephen Dando-Collins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The true story of a little-known, yet remarkable World War II operation, which had all the hallmarks of a suicide mission. Beginning with a crazy plan hatched by a suspect prince, and an even crazier reliance on the word of the Nazis, Operation Chowhound was devised. Between May 1 and May 8, 1945, 2,268 military units flown by the USAAF, dropped food to 3.5 million starving Dutch civilians in German-occupied Holland. It took raw courage to fly on Operation Chowhound, as American aircrews never knew when the German AAA might open fire on them or if Luftwaffe fighters might jump them. Flying at 400 feet, barely above the tree tops, with guns pointed directly at them, they would have no chance to bail out if their B-17s were hit—and yet, over eight days, 120,000 German troops kept their word, and never fired on the American bombers. As they flew, grateful Dutch civilians spelled out "Thanks Boys" in the tulip fields below. Many Americans who flew in Operation Chowhound would claim it was the best thing they did in the war. In this gripping narrative, author Stephen Dando-Collins takes the reader into the rooms where Operation Chowhound was born, into the aircraft flying the mission, and onto the ground in the Netherlands with the civilians who so desperately needed help. James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, as well as Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill all play a part in this story, creating a compelling, narrative read.
Die unfassbare Lebengeschichte des Louis Zamperini
Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Louis Zamperini, Sohn italienischer Einwanderer, wird vom jugendlichen Schlitzohr zum Mittelstreckenläufer von Weltrang. Nach seinem fulminanten Schlussspurt beim Finale der Olympischen Spiele in Berlin 1936 beginnt seine Odyssee während des Zweiten Weltkriegs im Pazifik. Er gerät mitten ins Inferno der Gefangenschaft, wo er Folter und Hunger erträgt und überlebt. Laura Hillenbrand, die zurzeit erfolgreichste Sachbuchautorin der USA, erzählt mitreißend und erzeugt eine atemlose Spannung: den Flugzeugabsturz, die 47-tägige Irrfahrt im Schlauchboot durch den Pazifik, den Kampf gegen Haie, die Kriegsgefangenschaft unter einem der grausamsten Verbrecher des Zweiten Weltkriegs.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a four-engined heavy bomber flown primarily by the United States in World War Two and the Korean War. The B-29 remained in service in various roles throughout the 1950s. The British Royal Air Force flew the B-29 and used the name Washington for the type, and the Soviet Union produced an unlicensed copy as the Tupolev Tu-4. The name "Superfortress" was derived from that of its well-known predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. The B-29 was the progenitor of a series of Boeing-built bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, trainers and tankers including the variant, B-50 Superfortress. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War Two. A very advanced bomber for its time, it included features such as pressurized cabins, an electronic fire-control system and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets. Though it was designed as a high-altitude daytime bomber, in practice it actually flew more low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing missions. It was the primary aircraft in the American firebombing campaign against Japan in the final months of World War Two, and carried the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unlike many other World War Two-era bombers, the B-29 remained in service long after the war ended, with a few even being employed as flying television transmitters. The type was finally retired in the early 1960s, with 3,960 aircraft in all built. Without doubt there is a clear, strong requirement to put the record straight using primary source documentation to record the undoubted achievements alongside and in context with the shortcomings to the types design and operation that have otherwise received scant attention. The book will cover all variants and is profusely illustrated.
Wie ein deutscher Pilot seinem amerikanischen Feind im Zweiten Weltkrieg das Leben schenkte
Author: Adam Makos
Publisher: Riva Verlag
Category: Political Science
Sie sind erbitterte Feinde, als sie am 20. Dezember 1943 in über acht Kilometern Höhe aufeinandertreffen: der Amerikaner Charlie Brown in seinem vom Flakfeuer schwer beschädigten B-17-Bomber und der deutsche Jagdflieger Franz Stigler, der den gegnerischen Piloten einfach nur vom Himmel holen müsste, – doch er tut es nicht. Stattdessen gibt Stigler dem Bomber Geleit über die deutsche Flugabwehr hinweg bis auf die Nordsee hinaus und rettet Brown und seiner gesamten Besatzung das Leben. Die Geschichte der beiden Fliegerasse ist Legende. Und sie ist wahr. Der Historiker und Journalist Adam Makos hat sich, unterstützt von Starautor Larry Alexander, jahrelang bis ins kleinste Detail mit den Ereignissen beschäftigt und die Beteiligten getroffen. Eine höhere Pflicht ist kein Buch über einen kurzen Augenblick des Mitleids, sondern ein Buch darüber, was es bedeutet, in einem Krieg Pilot zu sein, und was für einer Pflichtverletzung es gleichkam, so zu handeln, wie es Franz Stigler richtig erschien. Es ist ein Buch auch über die Freundschaft, die Charlie Brown und Franz Stigler seit ihrem Wiedersehen 1990 verband – bis zu ihrem Tod 2008. Die wunderbare Geschichte eines deutschen Helden.
Das Schicksal von Dresden ist der Höhepunkt des Menschheitsverbrechens des Luftkriegs, das Roosevelt, Churchill und deren Helfershelfer zwischen 1940 und 1945 über das deutsche Volk gebracht haben. Zehntausende von Flüchtlingen aus Schlesien befanden sich in der alten sächsischen Residenzstadt, als in der Nacht vom 13. auf den 14. Februar 1945 Bomben und Phosphor vom Himmel fielen und einen verheerenden Feuersturm entfachten. Irving zeichnet die zynischen Entscheidungen von Churchill und seinem Luftkriegsmassenmörder Marschall Artur Harris in London minutiös nach und beweist, daß die Vernichtung der Stadt Dresden, ihrer Bewohner und der dort Schutz suchenden Flüchtlinge, aber auch der bedeutenden Kunstschätze, beileibe kein Betriebsunfall der Geschichte, sondern eiskaltes Kalkül war.
Drogen im Dritten Reich – »dieses Buch ändert das Gesamtbild« (Hans Mommsen) Über Drogen im Dritten Reich ist bislang wenig bekannt. Norman Ohler geht den Tätern von damals buchstäblich unter die Haut und schaut direkt in ihre Blutbahnen hinein. Arisch rein ging es darin nicht zu, sondern chemisch deutsch – und ziemlich toxisch. Wo die Ideologie für Fanatismus und »Endsieg« nicht mehr ausreichte, wurde hemmungslos nachgeholfen, während man offiziell eine strikte Politik der »Rauschgiftbekämpfung« betrieb. Als Deutschland 1940 Frankreich überfiel, standen die Soldaten der Wehrmacht unter 35 Millionen Dosierungen Pervitin. Das Präparat – heute als Crystal Meth bekannt – war damals in jeder Apotheke erhältlich, machte den Blitzkrieg erst möglich und wurde zur Volksdroge im NS-Staat. Auch der vermeintliche Abstinenzler Hitler griff gerne zur pharmakologischen Stimulanz: Als er im Winter 1944 seine letzte Offensive befehligte, kannte er längst keine nüchternen Tage mehr. Schier pausenlos erhielt er von seinem Leibarzt Theo Morell verschiedenste Dopingmittel, dubiose Hormonpräparate und auch harte Drogen gespritzt. Nur so konnte der Diktator seinen Wahn bis zum Schluss aufrechterhalten. Ohler hat bislang gesperrte Materialien ausgewertet, mit Zeitzeugen, Militärhistorikern und Medizinern gesprochen. Entstanden ist ein erschütterndes, faktengenaues Buch. Der totale Rausch wurde von dem bedeutenden Historiker Hans Mommsen begleitet, der das Nachwort beisteuert. Sein Fazit: »Dieses Buch ändert das Gesamtbild.«
A Comprehensive Registry of the Planes and Their Missions
Author: Robert A. Mann
The B-29 Superfortress was for many years a cornerstone of American military aviation. Best known as a bomber, it also served in reconnaissance, as a tanker, and as a rescue plane. It was a crucial tool for American and Allied forces during World War II, Korea and beyond. This operational history of the B-29 gives in-depth information on the career of each plane. A list of the names and serial numbers of the planes, each plane’s history from delivery date to removal from service, a description of the B-29’s physical characteristics and performance parameters, and a description of the five B-29 variants are provided. Sections of the book give complete mission data for the B-29’s World War II service in the China-Burma-India theater of operations, operations over Japan, aerial mining missions and test atomic bombing runs.
Introduces various kinds of fighter planes used by the Army Air Force and by the Navy and Marines during World War Two, their missions, and the weapons employed. Also includes information on the German and Japense fighters used in World War 2.
Forgotten Stories of American Bomber Crews Over Europe in World War Ii
Author: Rob Morris
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
For the men of the Army Air Corps in early World War II, the chance of surviving the obligatory twenty-five missions without death, injury, or imprisonment was one in three. In this groundbreaking book, Rob Morris has sought out remarkable but little-known stories of the air war from the men who lived and fought it. Based on hundreds of interviews with American veterans and their families, Untold Valor illuminates the courage of airmen whose exploits have until now remained untold. Read about Jewish aviators’ experiences as POWs in German camps. Learn about American airmen who were imprisoned, even killed, by the neutral Swiss and about two Air Corps enlisted men who changed U.S. policy toward liberated concentration camp survivors. Also discover the unusual story of Luftwaffe commander Herman Goering’s nephew, who flew B-17 missions against Germany. While some of the stories cover major events, most are about incidents and individuals misrepresented or overlooked by history books. Yet their efforts were vital, their lives forever changed. Detailed and moving, Untold Valor is certain to interest the serious air historian and the casual reader alike. With a foreword by the editor of B-17s Over Berlin.
A record of much that has been filmed, written or sound-recorded in English between 1939 and 1995 on the subject of RAF Bomber Command's offensive against Nazi Germany, which remains highly controversial. Includes an index for cross-referencing purposes.
Popularly known as the Douglas Dauntless, the U.S. Navy's SBD dive bomber was well named. Though considered obsolete at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Dauntless turned the tide of war in the Pacific with the destruction of four Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, making its mark in aviation history for sinking more enemy carriers than any other aircraft. Still in service at war's end, the Dauntless was the only U.S. carrier aircraft in operation from Pearl Harbor to V-J Day. The Dauntless was the only American Navy aircraft to fly in al five of the naval engagements fought exclusively by aircraft carriers and was credited with sinking the first Japanese fleet submarine and dropping the first bombs on Japanese-occupied soil during the war. The SBD was also active in the Atlantic, sinking Vichy French shipping at Casablanca and German vessels in Scandinavian waters. In between his authoritative accounts of these missions, Barrett Tillman tells the rousing story of the men who took the "slow but deadly" Dauntless into combat, loving her for her ruggedness and dependability while wishing for more speed and firepower. Among the people he describes is the pilot who nearly single-handedly knocked out a Japanese carrier and died in the process, and SBD squadron that flew unexpectedly into the Pearl Harbor attack. Filled with fascinating photographs, this book was widely acclaimed in 1976 when first published and is now available for the first time in paperback.
Bombs Away! covers strategic bombing in Europe during World War II, that is, all aerial bombardment of a strategic nature which took place between 1939 and 1945. In addition to American (U.S. Army Air Forces) and British (RAF Bomber Command) strategic aerial campaigns against Germany, this book covers German use of strategic bombing during the Nazis conquest of Europe: the Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, and the V 1 and V 2, where the Luftwaffe targeted Warsaw and Rotterdam (known as the Rotterdam Blitz). In addition, the book covers the blitzes against London and the bombing of other British industrial and port cities, such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Southampton, Manchester, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff, and Coventry bombed during the Battle of Britain. The twin Allied campaigns against Germanythe USAAF by day, the RAF by nightbuilt up into massive bombing of German industrial areas, notably the Ruhr, followed by attacks directly on cities such as Hamburg, Kassel, Pforzheim, Mainz, Cologne, Bremen, Essen, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Dortmund, Frankfurt, and the still controversial fire-bombing of Hamburg and Dresden. In addition to obvious targets like aircraft and tank manufacturers, ball bearing factories and plants that manufactured abrasives and grinding wheels were high priority targets. Petroleum refineries were a key target with USAAF aircraft based in North Africa and later Italy, bombing the massive refinery complexes in and around Ploesti, Romania, until August 1944 when the Soviet Red Army captured the area. Other missions included industrial targets in southern Germany like Regensburg and Schweinfurt. Missions to the Nazi capital, Berlin, started in 1940 and continued through March 1945. Throughout the war there were 314 air raids on Berlin. All of this is covered in detail with authoritative text and hundreds of archival photographs, many rare or never before published.
The glow of the sun was frightening and it chased them home . . .Bill Brill began losing height to escape the sky growing lighter above and behind him. But the sun was faster than the Wellington. By the time he crossed the west coast of Denmark he was down to 400 feet. The sun chased him across the North Sea and the East Riding of Yorkshire to Breighton. Ten per cent of the bombers were lost on the Warnemunde raid.The Australians who served in Bomber Command were highly trained members of an elite corps. They were thrown into a war of repeated bombing raids in which they had to perform complex tasks under extreme pressure and danger. They flew mission after mission with full knowledge that the odds of survival were against them - 4000 Australians died in Bomber Command - but they pressed on regardless.Many of the Australian airmen who were killed in the air over Dusseldorf or Essen are now unremembered in their homeland, but their lonely bravery contributed to the defeat of the Nazi regime. Hank Nelson vividly brings to life through his lively writing and his extensive use of personal reminiscences the extraordinary experiences of the Australians who served with the British bomber squadrons. He depicts their fears, despair and courage in the face of the most terrible experiences.