Author(s): Richard Overy
This is the ultimate history of the Blitz and bombing in the Second World War, from Wolfson Prize-winning historian and author Richard Overy. The use of massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize civilians was an aspect of the Second World War which continues to challenge the idea that Allies specifically fought a 'moral' war. For Britain, bombing became perhaps its principal contribution to the fighting as, night after night, exceptionally brave men flew over occupied Europe destroying its cities. The Bombing War radically overhauls our understanding of the War. It is the first book to examine seriously not just the most well-known parts of the campaign, but the significance of bombing on many other fronts - the German use of bombers on the Eastern Front for example (as well as much newly discovered material on the more familiar 'Blitz' on Britain), or the Allied campaigns against Italian cities. The result is the author's masterpiece - a rich, gripping, picture of the Second World War and the terrible military, technological and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all its participants into an abyss.
Magnificent ... must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war ... It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century -- Richard J Evans Guardian Monumental ... this is a major contribution to one of the most controversial aspects of the Second World War ... full of new detail and perspectives ... hugely impressive -- James Holland Literary Review This tremendous book does what the war it describes signally failed to do. With a well-thought-out strategy and precision, it delivers maximum force on its objectives ... The result is a masterpiece of the historian's art The Times What distinguishes Mr Overy's account of the bombing war from lesser efforts is the wealth of narrative detail and analytical rigour that he brings to bear Economist Excellent ... Overy is never less than an erudite and clear-eyed guide whose research is impeccable and whose conclusions appear sensible and convincing even when they run against the established trends Financial Times It is unlikely that a work of this scale, scope and merit will be surpassed Times Higher Education Hard to surpass. If you want to know how bombing worked, what it did and what it meant, this is the book to read Times Literary Supplement My book of the year ... A staggering amount of research ... provides a sober and realistic assessment of [the bombings'] impact on the warring nations and on the civilians who bore the brunt of its impact ... It's hard to imagine a more thorough account: a masterpiece -- Richard J Evans New Statesman BOOKS OF THE YEAR A much needed breath of fresh air ... Overy argues his point with the confidence of someone who knows he is master of his subject: his rich and varied approach, coupled with exhaustive research, makes this probably the best history of bombing of the past 20 years -- Keith Lowe Telegraph A superbly detailed account of a terrifying aspect of the Second World War -- Simon Heffer New Statesman BOOKS OF THE YEAR An extraordinary and far-reaching history ... the first full narrative of the bombing war in Europe ... Overy's scope is incredibly broad and well-researched, also highly readable Spectator This is a tough, hardheaded and meticulous work of military history ... It is worth reading -- Dan Jones Telegraph BOOKS OF THE YEAR Overy's history explains and explores strategy, tactics, technology and results in one seamless story that shatters myths and establishes truths -- Nigel Jones Sunday Telegraph Utterly fascinating ... What is most surprising in Overy's book is its remarkable contemporary relevance -- Edward Luttwak London Review of Books The first full narrative of the bombing war in Europe -- Commander Barney White-Spunner Country Life
Richard Overy is the author of a series of remarkable books on the Second World War and the wider disasters of the twentieth century. The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia won both the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hessell-Tiltman Prize. He is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. Penguin publishes 1939: Countdown to War, The Morbid Age, Russia's War, Interrogations, The Battle of Britain and The Dictators. He lives in London.