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To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
On September 6, 1943, three hundred and thirtyeight B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the American Eighth Air Force took off from England, bound for Stuttgart, Germany, to bomb Nazi weapons factories.

Dense clouds obscured the targets, and one commander's critical decision to circle three times through heavy fire would prove disastrous. Forty-five planes went down that day, and h
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ebook, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by New American Library
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Mike
Dec 08, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I followed up on Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany which covered the entire war with To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany, focused on just one mission. Excellent pairing if I do say so myself. Much of the action here was briefly covered in Masters but this brings it so much closer. Thrilling and tragic, the battle is bloody and many are lost. Some parachute to safety or POW camps, some make it home.

The mission
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Nathan Trachta
A long time love of mine has been the daylight bombing campaign in WW II. I'm fascinated with the men, the machines, the dedication, the drive, and the fraternity that occurred in these missions. It amazes me what they went through. I saw To Kingdom Come and decided it was time to read another book on this great feat and see if this one could match The Munster Raid.

Mr. Mrazek picked an interesting subject, the raid on Stuttgart in 1943, I say this because it was a SNAFU mission, something writer
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Dan
Mar 25, 2011 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat disjointed and confusing narrative that includes both fascinating details on aircrew experience as well as more tedious details of command structure and inter-personality conflicts. Worth reading, but at times becomes a chore
Mike Prochot
Sep 03, 2012 Mike Prochot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-two
September 6, 1943 - Stuttgart, Germany. A pasting given to the 8th Air Force that appears sometimes as almost a footnote in many histories of the airwar of WWII. Robert J. Mrazek fills in the details and adds a poignant, human edge to the disaster. I very much enjoyed the way the book was constructed, giving us the background of a handful of flyers not necessarily known to each other but each sharing part of the load and all of them paying a price, and then following them through the mission as ...more
Tom Emory Jr.
This is going to be short.
My rating is a 3+.
"To Kingdom Come" is another in the many, many, many books on World War II. It is the story of the September, 1943, bombing mission to Stuttgart, Germany, by the U.S. Eighth Air Force, and it focuses on commanders on the ground and bomber flight crews in the air. A helluva lot of blood and death and destruction. Although interesting, my final impression is that I could have stopped at any point and not felt like I was missing anything.
Jeff
Nov 03, 2011 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, but I found it hard to keep the several airmen that Mr. Mrazek covers in this book straight in my mind. He focuses on several men, mostly from different planes and squadrons, and tells their stories more or less concurrently such that the narrative jumps from one person to the next. This book isn't nearly as good as his earlier book, A Dawn Like Thunder.
Jerry Smith
Jan 29, 2013 Jerry Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, 2013-read
WW2 is fading in the memory as it disappears ever further in the rear view mirror and the warriors that fought in this conflict slowly pass. It is vital that we never forget their sacrifice (as it is for all our soldiers in all conflicts) and books like this are an important means of remembering them.

In contrast to some of the gung-ho accounts I have read of recent conflicts, this is a poignant and stirring story of the courage of the young men on both sides who took part in the air war over Ger
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Christie
Just finished a great read on the 8th AAF mission to bomb Stuttgart in September of 1943. The author introduces you to six of the B-17 airmen in different Bomber Groups and tells the story through first-person accounts from the time before, during and then after the catastrophic loss for the USAAF from the Stuttgart mission. This mission took place shortly after the devastating losses suffered over Schweinfurt in August 1943 and the loss of life and aircraft between both Schweinfurt and Stuttgar ...more
João Martins
Feb 17, 2014 João Martins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good account of a few mostly disjointed personal accounts of B-17 crew experiences of one particular raid. Unfortunately, the way in which they were written, jumping back and forth between characters, is hard to follow.

I tried double-checking some of the raid data with data from the 8th AF Historical Society, and they didn't really match up. I don't know whether that is because of certain choices in the original 8th AF reporting (losses over UK skies were not counted, if I remember correctl
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Jdblair
May 17, 2011 Jdblair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on a poorly led bombing mission to Stuttgart, Germany on September 6, 1943. Fascinating look at the leaders, pilots, crew members, etc. I bought the book in the Andrews AFB Base Exchange on a visit to the DC area in March 2011. I've always known of Travis AFB, California, but had no idea who the base was named after. BGen Bob Travis led this bombing mission and I feel was directly responsible for many of the aircraft and crew losses. This was a hard book to put down after I starte ...more
Anthony
Mar 24, 2011 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
Reading this book, as well as Unbroken (which I recently read), makes you appreciate the courage of the men who flew in bombers during WWII. They were close to being on suicide missions at times, yet they continually performed their duties despite the danger around them. The world should never forget their bravery and sacrifice, but it probably already has.
Matthew Dambro
Dec 23, 2015 Matthew Dambro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story of the early days of the Eighth Air Force. Few made the 25 missions and still they flew day after day against the most formidable air defense system the world had ever seen. For the most part they were teen agers and twenty-somethings trapped by untested tactics and poor support at the highest levels. Uncommon valor was a common virtue.
Billy
Jul 28, 2012 Billy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read about the failed 1943 Regensburg raid. The book would have been better served with a map to better spell out the range of the fighter support and location of the German figher bases.

Also since the author feels free to criticize the strategic failures of Hap Arnold, it would have been better if he had provided more technical details on the nature of air war circa 1943.
Julia
Mar 16, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is about a "failed" bomber mission over Germany during WWII... it tells the stories of different crew members who survived and were able to escape from the German soldiers. Pretty cool stories.
Don
Mar 20, 2013 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The story covers one mission where the American flyers suffered almost 600 dead airman and the planes totally missed the target. I don't think our modern area could have handled such a result.
Vincent Azzarelli
well researched and written. convey's a sense of horror these men faced, and the strength of character it took to do their job. how can anyone complain after reading what they endured.
Tao
Jan 21, 2013 Tao rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Stories of six downed B-17 Fortress airmen, their journey to freedom, with background information about the bombing campaign against Germany during 1943-1944.

Clinton
Clinton rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2012
Brian Staples
Brian Staples rated it really liked it
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PWRL
Apr 03, 2015 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-new
A
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Jim Loveless
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Roy Underwood
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Robert Jan Mrazek was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 3rd Congressonal District on Long Island for most of the 1980s.

He born in Newport, Rhode Island, but grew up in Huntington, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1967. In 1968, he entered the United States Navy and served in the Vietnam War. However, he was discharged following a t
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