Battle of Berlin


Bomber Command over the Third Reich, 1943-1945

By: Martin Bowman
Format: Hardback
Pages: 456
ISBN: 9781526786388
Published: 30th May 2020
Available: Saturday 30 May, 2020.
RRP / Print Price: £30.00

Current purchase price:
£24.00

Battle of Berlin

The Battle of Berlin, the bombing of the ‘Big City’ as it was known to the crews of RAF Bomber Command, raged from 18 November 1943 to the end of the war in Europe in 1945. It is recalled here both by those in the air over capital of the Third Reich, as well as those who suffered under the bombing onslaught.

At the start of the Battle of Berlin, Sir Arthur Harris had predicted that the ‘Big City’ would ‘cost between 400-500 aircraft’, but that it would also ‘cost Germany the war’. He was proved wrong on both counts. Berlin was not ‘wrecked from end to end’, as Harris predicted on 3 November 1943 – ‘if the USAAF will come in on it’ – although a considerable part of it was destroyed. And the ‘Main Battle of Berlin’ did not cost Germany the war; a grinding land campaign had yet to be fought. More than 9,000 bombing sorties were flown during the battle on round trips of about 1,200 miles to Berlin and back.

Berlin was bombed by four Allied air forces between 1940 and 1945. British bombers alone dropped 45,517 tons of bombs, whilst the Americans a further 23,000 tons. By 1944, some 1.2 million people, 790,000 of them women and children, about a quarter of Berlin’s population, had been evacuated to rural areas. An effort was made to evacuate all children from Berlin, but this was defeated by parents and many evacuees who soon made their way back to the city. However, by May 1945, 1.7 million people – 40% of the population – had fled the city.

This fitting tribute to those who died in the relentless struggle to knock Berlin, and hopefully Germany, out of the war resonates with eye-witness accounts and background information which the author has painstakingly investigated and researched. The result is a hugely fascinating and highly readable narrative containing very real and unique observations by British and Commonwealth aircrew and, equally importantly, the long-suffering citizens of Berlin, and well as the capital’s defenders.

Up to the end of March 1945, there had been a total of 314 air raids on Berlin, eighty-five of these in the last twelve months. Estimates of the total number of dead in Berlin from air raids range from 20,000 to 50,000; the relatively low casualty figure in Berlin is partly the result of the city’s formidable air defences and shelters.

The Battle of Berlin was not a defeat in absolute terms, but in the operational sense it was an offensive that Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris and his aircrews could not win. ‘Berlin won’ concluded Sir Ralph Cochrane, the Air Officer Commanding 5 Group RAF Bomber Command. ‘It was just too tough a nut.’

 

 



Some books that may interest you

Victoria Crosses on the Western Front - April 1915 to June 1916
Victoria Crosses on the Western Front - April 1915 to June 1916
By: Paul Oldfield

German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance
German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance
By: Ian Baxter

Flight Craft 19: North American Aviation P-51 Mustang
Flight Craft 19: North American Aviation P-51 Mustang
By: Robert Jackson

Destination Dunkirk
Destination Dunkirk
By: Gregory Blaxland

Seaforth World Naval Review 2018
Seaforth World Naval Review 2018
By: Conrad Waters

The Spitfire
The Spitfire
By: Philip Kaplan

Air Battle for Burma
Air Battle for Burma
By: Bryn Evans

Pegasus - The Heart of the Harrier
Pegasus - The Heart of the Harrier
By: Andrew Dow

The Somme 1916
The Somme 1916
By: Ed Skelding

Bletchley Park Family
Bletchley Park Family
By: Neville J Anderson-Budd

The Soldier's War
The Soldier's War
By: Dr Peter Liddle

Once a Hussar
Once a Hussar
By: Ray Ellis

Messines 1917
Messines 1917
By: Craig Deayton

Before Action
Before Action
By: Charlotte Zeepvat

Sea Killers In Disguise
Sea Killers In Disguise
By: Tony Bridgland



Quick Find
 
Use keywords to find the book you are looking for.
Advanced Search

Information