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Trapped inside a burning Lancaster bomber 20,000 feet above Berlin, wireless operator John Martin consigned himself to his fate and turned his thoughts to his fiancee back home. In a miraculous turn of events, however, the twenty-one-year-old was thrown clear of his disintegrating aeroplane and found himself parachuting into the heart of Nazi Germany, where he was soon captured. Drawn from his own memories, and from conversations with other POWs, this is the true-life account of a Second World War airman who cheated death in the sky, only to face interrogation and the prospect of being shot by the Gestapo, before enduring months of sorrow and hunger as a prisoner of war. Above all, however, it is the story of one man's courage and determination in the face of adversity.
Les Bartlett has become one of the great characters of World War II history. He flew as bomb aimer with the then Flying Officer Michael Beetham, who later became Marshal of the Royal Air Force. At that time he was a sergeant but gained his commission in April 1944 and flew his tour, including 27 raids over Germany and France between November 1943 and May 1944. On his second operation his aircraft was attacked by a Ju 88, leaving it with no flaps or brakes—a crash landing at Wittering ensued. At the end of his third mission they found the whole of Lincolnshire fogbound and eventually landed at RAF Melbourne in Yorkshire just before that airfield was closed also because of the fog. His aircraft was hit in the wing by a 30lb incendiary bomb dropped by another Lancaster flying above them on his sixth operation—but they survived. On his twelfth operation to Leipzig he used the nose guns to destroy a Ju 88 night fighter, for which he was awarded the DFM. In February 1944 the port outer engine caught fire and the crew baled out. Les was then posted as Assistant Adjutant to RAF Thornaby.
First published to acclaim in 1985, this book is set to be a timely release, in line with the 70th Anniversary of the outset of the Raids, near approaching in November 2013. Berlin itself was 'the Big City'. It was deep in the heart of Germany and heavily defended with flak and night fighters, not only because it was the administrative capital but also because it was vital for the German war production machine. Heavy losses could be expected on any raid to Berlin. So when the curtain was swept back on the briefing map to reveal the red ribbon stretching towards Berlin there was added tension for the bomber crews. Between November 1943 and March 1944, Berlin was the target no less than sixteen times. 9,112 sorties were flown and 495 aircraft were lost.As in his previous books, Alan Cooper has painstakingly researched all the details of the raids, telling the stories of individual crews who flew on them, of those who returned safely and those who were shot down, becoming POWs or evading capture, either returning to the UK or remaining at large in occupied Europe. He tells of the heroism of the pilots and crews grappling with heavily -loaded bombers against night fighters, often nursing stricken aircraft back to base, with many failing to return.Acclaim for Bombers Over Berlin:What makes this book so remarkable and interesting is its anthology of short but graphic accounts of the trials and tribulations of the dozens of bomber crews involved...Bombers Over Berlin is unique in its compilations of such a large number of personal anecdotes covering the hazards of sustained fighter and flak attacks...a thoroughly well researched chronicle Ken Batchelor, former Chairman of the Bomber Command Association.
RUGGED GOING The Commanding Colonel stared at the big map with its red ribbons marking air trails to and from targets. He was spotting the exact point where his Third Fighter group would have to turn back and leave the big Fortresses and Liberators to go it alone into the concentrated defenses of Germany. Weather Officer Miller looked glumly at the map as Colonel Holt placed his finger on a spot.
The Battle of Berlin was the longest and most sustained bombing offensive against one target in the Second World War. Bomber Command’s Commander-in-Chief, Sir Arthur Harris, hoped to ‘wreak Berlin from end to end’ and ‘produce a state of devastation in which German surrender is inevitable’. He dispatched nineteen major raids between August 1943 and March 1944 – more than 10,000 aircraft sorties dropped over 30,000 tons of bombs on Berlin. It was the RAF’s supreme effort to end the war by aerial bombing. But Berlin was not destroyed and the RAF lost more than 600 aircraft and their crews. The controversy over whether the Battle of Berlin was a success or failure has continued ever since. Martin Middlebrook brings to this subject considerable experience as a military historian. In preparing his material he collected documents from both sides (many of the German ones never before used); he has also interviewed and corresponded with over 400 of the people involved in the battle and has made trips to Germany to interview the people of Berlin and Luftwaffe aircrews. He has achieved the difficult task of bringing together both sides of the Battle of Berlin – the bombing force and the people on the ground – to tell a coherent, single story. The author describes the battle, month by month, as the bombers waited for the dark nights, with no moon, to resume their effort to destroy Berlin and end the war. He recounts the ebb and flow of fortunes, identifying the tactical factors that helped first the bombers, then the night fighters, to gain the upper hand. Through the words of the participants, he brings to the reader the hopes, fears and bravery of the young bomber aircrews in the desperate air battles that were waged as the Luftwaffe attempted to protect their capital city. And he includes that element so often omitted from books about the bombing war – the experiences of ordinary people in the target city, showing how the bombing destroyed homes, killed families, affected morale and reduced the German war effort. Martin Middlebrook’s meticulous attention to detail makes The Bomber Battle of Berlin one of his most accomplished book to date. Martin Middlebrook has written many other books that deal with important turning-points in the two world wars, including The First Day on the Somme, Kaiser’s Battle, The Peenemünde Raid, The Somme Battlefields (with Mary Middlebrook), The Nuremberg Raid 30-21st March 1944 and Arnhem 1944 (all republished and in print with Pen and Sword). Martin Middlebrook is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives near Stroud, Gloucestershire.
Bruce Lewis brings this book together to tell the story of the men who flew the bombers. The different roles within the aircraft are covered and each of their unique experiences discussed through first hand accounts.
Berlin, January 1945 The war draws to a close, but the fight for a vanquished city--and for history--is just beginning. On the heels of the critically acclaimed War of the Rats , the new master of historical suspense, David L. Robbins, turns his compelling vision on the waning months of World War II, when world leaders engage in a dicey game of cat and mouse to ultimately determine the fate of the second half of the twentieth century. The End of War In the final months of the war in Europe, the last act of a five-year conflagration is about to be played out. Allied generals move their war-hardened armies around the mortally wounded Nazi military machine. But strategies are being formed on a greater scale than even generals can imagine. While Churchill fumes helplessly, Roosevelt makes crucial decisions that will cede Berlin to Stalin and the Russians. The stakes are no less critical for ordinary men and women, fighting to live another day. On the ground are young Russian soldiers driven by vengeance into the teeth of the still-deadly Nazi army; American forces push forward under the political motives of a canny commander- in- chief; and the British, aloof, at odds with their Yankee counterparts, see in these last fateful moves a devastating betrayal by Washington and Moscow. The End of War vividly animates the giants who shaped history and breathes life into the heartbreaking struggles of those who merely lived it. From the chaos of the trenches on the eastern front, to the desperation of a single Jewish man hidden in a Berlin basement by a terrified mother and daughter, to the burning ambition of an American photojournalist determined to capture on film the defining moment of the war, Robbins ushers us into the sweep of history and the drama of the human face of war. An epic novel exploding with the urgency of battle and history in the making, here is The End of War. From the Hardcover edition.

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