The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992 - History - 235 pages
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This book is the only full-scale account of the strategic air offensive against Germany published in the last twenty years, and is the only one that treats the British and the Americans with parity. Much of what Levine writes about British operations will be unfamiliar to American readers. He has stressed the importance of winning air superiority and the role of escort fighters in strategic bombing, and has given more attention to the German side than most writers on air warfare have. Levine gets past a simple account of what we did to them and describes the target systems and German countermeasures in detail, providing exact yet dramatic accounts of the great bomber operations--the Ruhr dams, Ploesti, and Regensburg and Schweinfurt. The book is broad-guaged, touching many matters, from the development of bombing doctrine before the war to the technical development of the Luftwaffe and the RAF, jets and V-weapons, to the role of the heavy bombers in supporting land and sea operations.

Levine stresses the impact of bombing on the war, and generally endorses the strategic air campaign as worthwhile and effective. But he concludes that many mistakes were made by the Allies--both the British and the Americans--in tactics, the development of equipment, and in the selection of targets. Levine sees strategic bombing as a powerful tool that was often misused, particularly when the doctrine of area bombing flourished. Scholars, students, and buffs interested in World War II and/or the history of aviation will find this study of great interest.

 

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Contents

Origins Prelude Doctrine
1
The Failure of Bomber Command 19391941
21
The Reform of Bomber Command 1942
35
The Climax of Area Bombing and the Defeat of Bomber Command January 1943March 1944
49
The Emergence of the Eighth Air Force
71
The Abortive Offensive of JuneOctober 1943
89
The Struggle for Air Superiority November 1943April 1944
109
The Strategic Air Offensive and the Normandy Invasion FebruaryJune 1944
127
Oil May 1944September 1944
143
Transportation September 1944VE Day
161
Conclusions
189
Notes
203
Bibliography
219
Index
225
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About the author (1992)

ALAN J. LEVINE is a historian specializing in Russian history, international relations, and World War II. Born and raised in New York City, he received a Ph.D. from New York University. Mr. Levine has worked as a teacher, freelance writer, and book reviewer. He has published numerous articles about World War II and the Cold War and is the author of The Soviet Union, the Communist Movement, and the World: Prelude to the Cold War, 1917-1941 (Praeger, 1990).

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