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Bombs Away!: The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe Hardcover – May 22, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

AIR & SPACE SMITHSONIAN
"A gorgeous coffee-table book with 450 archival photographs, Bombs Away! documents strategic bombing from the perspective of both Allied and Luftwaffe air crews.

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"Bombs Away! is an extensive, in-depth reference recommended for any military collection in general and libraries specializing in World War II events in particular. It covers strategic aerial bombardment in Europe between 1939 and 1945 and documents particular aerial campaigns against Germany and the German use of strategic bombing in Europe. Rare photos - many in color - pack a survey which considers the machines, flyers, and strategy involved, documenting the evolution of air war from its roots in World War I to the campaigns that were led across Europe.



BOOKVIEWS BY ALAN CARUBA
"One publishing company, Zenith Press, devotes itself to reporting the events of war and, especially, World War Two. Their latest, a large format—coffee table—book is Bombs Away! The World War II Bombing Campaigns Over Europe by John R. Bruning and it is extraordinary. While battles were being fought on the ground with tanks, troops, and artillery, it was the war from the skies that rendered the relentless destruction of cities and specific military targets. Both the Nazis and the allies developed air warfare to a point never previously achieved. Bruning is among a handful of great military historians and his earlier books on “The Battle of the Bulge”, “The Air Battle for Korea”, and others are testimony to that. Filled with page after page of photos, this latest chapter from World War Two will provide hours of great reading while paying tribute to those whom we have come to call “the greatest generation.”

BOOK PLEASURES
"Covering the major campaigns, the strategies, the planes, and most of all, the people involved, “Bombs Away” uses superior prose, quotes, and stunning photographs to bring the story of the air war in Europe to life in a powerful and unforgettable way.



HISTORY WIRE
"This comprehensive and gripping book details the birth of aerial warfare in World War I (Who called it the "war to end all wars?"), but concentrates mainly on the European bombing during World War II."

TUCSON CITIZEN
"In fourteen chapters, all supplemented with more than 450 images, the six years of the bombing campaigns are brought into sharp focus. This is a monumental work and it reflects exceptional historical reporting.



FEATHERED QUILL BOOK REVIEWS
"The skies are empty now and the pilots and crews who fought these violent battles above the burning cities of Europe are mostly gone to their reward, knowing that they fought to defend freedom in their countries. I'm sure that when they had flown a few missions the romance of battle paled and they realized that their futures looked grim indeed. The ones who got home carried a lot of baggage with them as they do today. Only Hollywood could find this glamorous. The reality of war shouldn't fade from our memories as these brave people fought for our freedom and should never be forgotten. This book will help keep those memories alive.

BOOK BARGAINS AND PREVIEWS
"I am a WWII buff and collector. I collect memorabilia as well as books. And I found Bombs Away! to be a keeper! This is a wonderful keepsake that includes photographs and information on all air battles fought over Europe during WWII. It also includes some photos of WWI campaigns as well. The information comes from those who have been there; those who themselves fought in this war, and from various countries. Needless to say, I loved this book and it will be prominently displayed in my library."

From the Inside Flap

It started with a dream of avoiding the stalemate of the Great War. A generation of idealistic young men thought that glory awaited among the clouds, and strategic bombing, it was theorized, was the solution to attritional warfare. But when war returned and thousands of aircraft darkened the skies, ideals were overwhelmed by the need to defeat the evil of the Nazis. The war of attrition had just shifted to the air, to freezing, flak-filled missions with terrifyingly high casualty rates. Bombs rained down on Europe, sending civilians scurrying for shelter in blacked-out cities—or in broad daylight. Far above them an escalating battle of machines and tactics played out between bombers and fighter planes, their pilots and crews, until in the end the German war machine simply could not keep up.
 
Bombs Away! covers strategic aerial bombardment in Europe between 1939 and 1945. In addition to the American (U.S. Army Air Forces) and British (RAF Bomber Command) aerial campaigns against Germany, the German use of strategic bombing during the conquest of Europe and the Battle of Britain is also covered. The fighters and bombers and the men who flew and maintained them are featured in hundreds of rare photographs, dozens of them in color, while the text follows the pilots and their commanders through the evolving air war from its primitive beginnings in World War I to the massive long-range campaigns that helped end the war in Europe.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; First edition (May 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760339902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760339909
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.1 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
After coming back from London last month and seeing the Imperial War Museum, this book at the library seemed like an interesting choice... Bombs Away!: The World War II Bombing Campaigns over Europe by John R. Bruning. As I stood in a number of places in London, I tried to imagine what it must have been like, bombs raining out of the sky, day after day, night after night. Bombs Away added more color to that imagining from the perspective of those who flew the planes and fought on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis for their country and their lives.

Contents:
The Empty Sky; A Panacea for Generational Destruction; Theory into Practice; The Summer of the Few; Response in Kind; The Americans Arrive; Pointblank Begins; The Get Rich Quick Scheme; The Wheels Come Off; The Mortal Ones; The Hybrid Stallion; Relentless Pursuit - Big Week; Tipping Point; Destruction and Distraction; Clutching Straws; Judgments; Acknowledgments; Bibliographical Notes; Index

As a coffee table book (it's REALLY heavy!), it's interesting. The mix of color and black and white photos during the span of World War II give you a sense of what it was like to be strapped into a bomber turret for hours on end, punctuated by periods of sheer terror when fighters and flak tried to remove you from the sky. The photos from actual bombing runs are chilling, when you see the hellish destruction on the ground as well as the carnage in the sky, often ending in mission survival rates of less than half of those who took off just hours earlier.

Where I thought the book really stood out was in drawing the comparison between World War I and II, and what strategists thought that an aerial war campaign would accomplish.
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Format: Hardcover
Noted aviation author John Bruning and Zenith Press join forces to offer up this hefty 300 page photo-history of the USAAF and RAF bombing campaign against Germany in World War II. Combining hundreds of photographs with a comprehensive narrative, BOMBS AWAY, THE WORLD WAR II BOMBING CAMPAIGNS OVER EUROPE serves as an appealing general history of the strategic air war in the ETO.

After discussing the theory of strategic bombing as championed by Douhet, Mitchell, etc., Bruning takes the reader through the various air campaigns in the Spanish Civil War, Blitzkrieg attacks on Poland, France and Britain before devoting the bulk of the book to the USAAF and RAF attacks on the Third Reich. He details how each command decided on their own approach to bombing Germany (daylight vs. night-time), the aircraft they utilized, their respective successes and failures and the ultimate impact of the combined strategic bombing campaign.

While the text offers a good overview of aerial bombing in the ETO, the book's main selling point is the illustrations, over 480 b&w and color photographs and maps depicting Allied and Axis aircraft, aircrew and commanders, in-flight combat scenes, damage to various targets, etc. Many of the photographs have been seen before but BOMBS AWAY! brings them together under one cover.

Air war buffs should enjoy BOMBS AWAY! Though not definitive, it does offer a comprehensive, well-illustrated guide to the stratgic bombing war waged over Europe. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll get right to the point, this is an excellent book. Many photos I have never seen before, and I have over 500 books in my collection. Sobering text and commentary. A must have for any reader of "the heavies" of WW II air combat. After receiving this book, I purchased two more to give to like minded readers I know.
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Format: Hardcover
Detailed, so many photos with great captions and scholarly written text. If there is only one book you ought to have on air warfare in WWII, this is it. I love this book and am happy with my purchase.

I also recommend the following book:

Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

Happy readings!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great photos and text. Lots of pix in color. A must for history buffs and Air Force vets. Makes you appreciate their sacrifices. Thank a vet today!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this book. Read it cover to cover. I learned a lot about WWII and loveed the way the author put his feelings into the story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written story from the greatest generation. Many photos that I haven't seen before.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent book on allied bombing war in Europe. Lots of good photographs.
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