On Operations over Hitler's Reich
with crews of Bomber Command
By Andrew R. B. Simpson

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The human side of the bomber crews’ experience and their extremely dangerous and draining operations, using personal interviews to tell the real story behind the grit and glory.

Many books have been written about Bomber Command’s war, from the highest levels of command to the experiences of the lowest WAAF, but only a few have been able to reveal the human side of the bomber crews’ experience. Based upon many personal interviews, correspondence and archival sources, Andrew Simpson has compiled a compelling, informative and absorbing documentary record of what the men of Bomber Command went through, from initial training and crew formation, to descriptions of life on squadron and on their extremely dangerous and draining operations, to the numbing effect of morale breakdown. This intensely researched book, the result of years of work, contains many personal accounts from air crew; from those that survived and those that did not. Many heroic, tragic and often humorous incidents are described.

The author also examines the technology of bombing and how this form of aerial warfare evolved in terms of aircraft design, navigation, bombing methods, tactics and gunnery as used in, and as deployed by, the Hampden, Whitley and Wellington medium bombers, and the Stirling, Halifax and Lancaster ‘heavies’ which equipped Bomber Command’s squadrons.

Running like a thread through the work is the story of the author’s father, who served as a Lancaster pilot on an Australian bomber squadron during 1943 and 1944. His very personal account forms the backbone of this comprehensively researched and often very moving book. For anyone with a desire to learn more about Britain’s aircrews at war or for those seeking to understand more about the operations of Bomber Command, this book offers a unique and extraordinary insight into a momentous period of history.


Hard Cover, 448 pages

6 page index of personnel



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This page first produced 3 October 2012

This page last updated 21 January 2020