From the beginning of World War Two the RAF's Bomber Command had been the only means of striking Hitler's Reich and its war machine. The entry into the war of the United States and the subsequent arrival in the UK of the Eighth Air Force was to more than double the Allied capability. The Flying Fortress and Liberator heavy bombers were mostly flown across the Atlantic by their young unblooded aircrew and many succumbed en route and never arrived. Flying in north Europe was a different ball game from American skies and it took a considerable time before the crews familiarised themselves with the vagaries of fog, low cloud, rain and snow. The American bombers bristled with defensive armament and elected to fly in close defensive formation during the day leaving the RAF to carry out nightime raids. With the arrival of long-range protective escort fighters the task became a little easier. This book explains, including many first-hand accounts, how the American bomber force helped fight to eventual victory by decimating German industry, transport systems and breaking the Nazi war spirit.
Martin Bowman is one of Britain's best-known Second World War aviation historians and authors. His previous books have included works such as Legend of the Lancaster, Confounding the Reich, Duxford and the Big Wings, Clash of Eagles, Mosquito: Menacing the Reich and numerous titles in the exhaustive Air War series, providing extensive coverage of operations carried out on D-Day and during the Market-Garden offensive at Arnhem. He lives in Norwich.