Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany Paperback – September 25, 2007
|New from||Used from|
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Although remembered by few alive today, their exploits were captured for the home front by gritty young reporters such as Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney. Unlike many of the talking heads who populate our TV news, these men flew combat missions with the Bomber Boys risking their lives, not for ratings, but because they wanted to remind all the mothers and fathers wives and children back home why our cause was just.
But the most interesting thing that struck me while reading this book is that while it tells the tales of celebrities such as Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, William Wyler and the like, it also reminds us that these brave men, these truly heroic men, who flew harrowing missions, were our fathers and grandfathers. They were young men, some of them just out of high school, who were just like us or our children. It's a book filled with almost mythical heroes, men bigger than life yet real enough to be your neighbor. In an era saturated with pretend celebrities and steroid saturated athletes, this is a book that you should read to your children.
It is awesome because of its balanced and thorough analysis of the air war that pulverized Germany, a war now sentimentally known as "the good war" when Americans pulverized their enemies with the ease of comic book heroes.
"'Tain't so, Magee." Comic book heroes never had such courage.
Instead, think of the 80 percent casualty rate of the US Eighth Air Force in its early years as book theory met killing reality in conditions that stagger modern imaginations. I've flown in a B-17; it is huge on the outside, inside it is a tiny tube filled with equipment, supplies and hundreds of sharp objects that hurt when you are bumped, slip or are thrown about. Think of riding inside your computer on a truck bouncing down a bumpy mountain road and having to write an A-plus story en route.
So much for creature comfort. Put it all in air colder than Antarctica. Paint a big star on the side as a target, then send it into the sky for hours at a time. Soldiers on the ground sheltered in foxholes and bunkers; the skin of a B-17 was beer-can-thin aluminum. The plane is like a vast Tinkertoy riveted into an amazingly strong and yet frightfully vulnerable structure. It is a mighty aircraft, yet thin enough that a pigeon could penetrate it and injure crewmen.
This is the reality of the bomber offensive. Miller presents it in awesome, chilling detail. Unlike most histories, it isn't a lone portrait of some brave men; instead, it includes chilling accounts from all. One account is of an American pilot flying with his elbows because his hands were blown off, another is of German children who roasted to death in their flaming cities.Read more ›
Donald L. Miller answers that question and many others in his absolutely superlative history of the American air war over Germany. (Not taking anything away from Miller's work is that suggestion that you also read Max Hasting's "Bomber Command" for a view of the very different English air war.)
Miller alternates between first person accounts of crew members and their missions, the leaders, the campaign objectives, assessments of the impact of the various phases of the air war and the enemy reaction. It may sound confusing, but because of Miller's extraordinary writing and the seamless organization of his meticulously researched material, it is not.
In fact, Miller does an exceptional job of conveying the fear of the crew, the blind faith of the leaders in the doctrine of aerial bombing, the grim realities that had to be faced all down the line as men realized that the unsupported bomber was not an impregnable "Flying Fortress". Miller weaves each part of the incredibly complex air war and its combatants together. From gunners to pilots to generals to the men who selected the targets and argued over strategy, Miller allows the multiple stories to develop and blossum and then moves on to another.
Miller is careful to distinguish the American campaign of "precision" bombing from the more candidly terror oriented British campaign of "area" bombing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Donald Miller has done an outstanding job with this book. Written in such a way that places you with the bomber crews, you feel the anxiety, the fears and frustrations that they... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Christopher Gardner
Best book on European air war in print. Covers USAAF, strategic as well as tactical, and it's importance in winning the war in Europe. Highly recommended.Published 6 days ago by T. Brownrigg
Great story. Confusing timeline. It gave a good idea of what my father went through. He never talked about it. He was a navigator on a B-24.Published 12 days ago by J. Steven Carrothers
My son-in-law has a grandfather in his 90's who was a tail gunner during WWII. This book aptly describes what he experienced.Published 18 days ago by Mama
Fantastic book. I didn't want to put it down! My father flew 30 combat missions with the US 8th Air Force in WWII under major Jimmy Stewart's command in the 703rd Bomb Squadron... Read morePublished 19 days ago by SCOTT CULVER 'SONOFAGUNNER'
A very good book about the bomber crews in WW II. It is a large book but a delight to read... I think there is even a tour of WW II sites sponsored by the WW II museum that... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kay W. Hargis
If you are curious about the air war over Europe in WW2 this is the book for you.Very well written and a great read.Published 2 months ago by D. L. Jones