Night after night for six years of war, RAF Bomber Commands squadrons pounded away at the cities of Nazi Germany in a determined effort to bring the Third Reich to its knees. Pitted against Bomber Harriss aircrews and aircraft were some of the most effective and deadly defenses the world had seen up until then.
For Bomber Command to launch a maximum effort raid on the Ruhr by night, or a low-level strike on a target in enemy occupied Europe by day, it involved a huge amount of planning.
Who decided what to bomb?
Why, when and where were bomber airfields built?
How was the overall command structure organized, from the Air Council down to individual squadron level?
Who were the commanders and who were the men that made up the rank and file of the Command?
How did the RAF train its bomber crews?
What aircraft did they fly and what weapons did they use?
How was a raid planned and once it was launched what happened?
How was the effectiveness of a raid and bomber tactics analyzed afterwards?
How did the RAF go about tracing the missing (47,000 men failed to return from operations)?
How were damaged bombers repaired and made good again for operations?
Useful appendices include a Bomber Command War Diary listing key events 1939-1945, squadrons and their commanders, an a-to-z of bomber airfields, and sample orders of battle from 1939, 1943 and 1945. Fully illustrated with some 300 photographs, the Bomber Command Operations Manual gives a compelling insight into the workings of one of the most powerful instruments of 20th century warfare
Jonathan Falconer is the author of more than 30 books on aspects of aviation and military history, including the Haynes Handley Page Halifax Manual, Short Stirling Manual, D-Day Operations Manual, and co-author (with Brian Rivas) of the de Havilland Mosquito Manual. He lives in Wiltshire.