Sky

& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.

 

With reviews of books that cover these topics

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sandb@paulsmiddy.co.uk

A city flattened. 40,000 people, largely civilians killed in one night. The Hamburg raids (for the “battle” of Hamburg took place over a week or more) polarised opinion, and continue to do so. The author is an experienced military historian, with a slight speciality in the exploits of the RAF’s Bomber Command. It is to his great credit that he presents a very even-handed view of the events. The fact that this is a (worthy) reprint of a 1980 title means that Middlebrook was able to do his extensive research whilst many of the main protagonists were still alive. As well as using surviving German archives, Middlebrook has been able to interview civilians and local government officials who were in the doomed city in 1943. Their accounts add colour (mainly in a searing orange, or deathly black it has to be said) to the tale.

Firestorm Hamburg

The facts surrounding the destruction of a German city 1943

 

Martin Middlebrook, Pen & Sword, 2012 (1st publ 1980 Allen Lane) ISBN   9781781 590355

hamburg 3