During the air battles that destroyed Nazi Germany's ability to wage war, one bomb group was especially distinguished.
The Hell's Angels.
At the outbreak of World War II, the United States was in no way prepared to wage war. Although the US declared war against Germany in December 1941, the country lacked the manpower, the equipment, and the experience it needed to fight. Even had an invasion force been ready, a successful assault on Nazi-occupied Europe could not happen until Germany's industrial and military might were crippled.
Because no invasion could happen without air superiority, the first target was the Luftwaffe - the most powerful and battle-hardened airforce in the world. To this end, the United States Army Air Forces joined with Great Britain's already-engaged Royal Air Force to launch a strategic air campaign that ultimately brought the Luftwaffe to its knees. One of the standout units of this campaign was the legendary 303rd Bomb Group - a.k.a. Hell's Angels.
This is the 303rd's story, as told by the men who made it what it was. Taking their name from their B-17 of the same name, they became one of the most distinguished and important air combat units in history. The dramatic and terrible air battles they fought against Germany changed the course of the war.
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The Perfect Voice for a Compelling Story
It's difficult to say--I sure didn't like to stop listening.
Although the stories of air combat are told in a way that's both exciting and personal, it's not just about air combat, which, when overdone, can get numbing or overwhelming. The fighting is woven into a total story of strategy, tactics, equipment and people. And it tells the story of the support personnel as well--these are the folks who made sure the aircraft and men were ready for each mission. And it includes lots of personal stories and vignettes that make the men and what they did that much more real. Altogether it makes a very engaging story.
Robertson Dean performs this amazing story with the gravitas it warrants while simultaneously drawing the reader into the gut-wrenching action that typified the air war over Europe. His timing and tempo, together with his ability to apply nuance and heart, move the book along perfectly. It's difficult to imagine this book read by anyone else.
Terror, heart and sacrifice at five miles high.
There is probably no better start-to-finish narrative history of a World War II Bomb Group.
- Carter L.
A true account of what it was really like to be in a B-17 crew in the dangerous sky's of Europe. They fought as a team and died as a team while slowly eroding the Nazi industrial complex. A great historical account of the Army Air Force.
Unable to choose one over the next. The book rubs the readers nose right into what the air war was like.
No, but I will look for more of Mr. Dean's writings.
As a former Airman, I had noting but respect for the men that got into those B-17's each day knowing that a large percentage would not return.
One of the best overall accounts of the air war I have read.
- Amazon Customer "Skipper"