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Terror at 26,000 feet
MISSION TO BERLIN
The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler’s Reich
By Robert F. Dorr
336 pp. Zenith Press
Reviewed by Gary Presley
The U.S. Army Air Corps lost nearly 23,000 aircraft in combat in World War II. More than 52,000 men died while on missions in those aircraft.
Losses at the beginning of the strategic bombing campaign were horrendous. The raids over Schweinfurt and Regensburg in August 1943 saw 315 bombers make it to their targets; 60 were lost. In October, there was another strike on Schweinfurt, and 222 of 296 B-17s dispatched made it to the target; 60 were lost. Each bomber carried a ten-man crew.
Author Robert Dorr covers one mission in that bloody air war over Europe. The Eighth Air Forces bombers took off on February 3rd, 1945, more than 1,000 of them, all dispatched to target the Nazi capital of Berlin, Germany. Dorr has undertaken extensive research, and he weaves the story from historical records and interviews with surviving airmen whose stories comprise the bulk of this fine history.
- Read the complete review here at The Internet Review of Books.
- Those interested in a deeply felt fictional impression of the WW II air war should read Bomber by Len Deighton or The War Lover by John Hersey.