Bomber Boys (book)


Following on from his bestselling 'Fighter Boys', in this very different book, Patrick Bishop looks back at the lives, human realities and the extraordinary risks that the painfully young pilots took during the strategic air-offensive against Germany from 1939--1945. In 'Fighter Boys' Patrick Bishop brought to life the pilots who flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in the summer of 1940. In 'Bomber Boys', Bishop tells a different but equally fascinating story. The 125,000 men from all over the world who passed through Bomber Command during the Second World War were engaged in a form of warfare that had never been implemented before and would never be again. Between 1940 and 1945 they flew continuously, stopping only when weather made operations impossible. For much of that time they were the only fighters capable of attacking Germany in its own territory. There was nothing romantic about their struggle. Often barely out of boyhood, they lived on bleak bases, flying at night on long, nerve-racking missions that often ended in death. The odds of surviving were stacked heavily against them. In all, 55,000 were killed, counting for nearly one in ten of all the British and Commonwealth war dead. Despite these sacrifices, the Bomber Boys have remained on the edges of our collective memory and their actions have been the subject of a controversy that continues to the present. In this powerful and moving work of history, Patrick Bishop compellingly captures the character, feelings and motivations of the bomber crews and pays tribute to their heroism and determination. 'Bomber Boys' brilliantly restores these men to their rightful place in our consciousness. [1]