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The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945
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The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  22 reviews
For five years during the Second World War, the Allies launched a trial and error bombing campaign against Germany's historical city landscape. Peaking in the war's final three months, it was the first air attack of its kind. Civilian dwellings were struck by-in today's terms-"weapons of mass destruction," with a total of 600,000 casualties, including 70,000 children.

In "T
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Hardcover, 532 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Columbia University Press (first published 2002)
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Matt
“Fire…We’re going to put him in it. That’s saying, friends, that we’re going to put fire around him, all around him. We’re going to put it over him and underneath him. We’re going to bring it down on him and on to him. We’re going to put it in his eyes and up his asshole… and in his baby’s diaper. We’re going to put it in his pockets, where he can’t get rid of it…
- the opening lines of James Dickey’s To the White Sea

Before the rubble had even stopped bouncing at the end of World War II, the vic
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Isi
Feb 20, 2012 Isi added it
I am of two minds about this book. On the one hand, it is Friedrich's great achievement to present to the general public a detailed account of the US/UK bombing campaign against German (and some other west European) cities. Friedrich, who is completely unsuspected of being a revisionist historian, tells of a crime that nobody - not in Germany, not in England or in America - ever really wanted to talk about in the face of the much greater crimes committed by Nazi Germany. So thumbs up to the auth ...more
Christina
I read this book upon my German father's recommendation. It was not an easy read as a first-born American daughter of German immigrants who lived through World War II as children.
It changed my entire opinion of the Americans and British being the "good guys" of WWII. The complete devastation of most of Germany's city/town centers and the targeting of civilian populations horrified me. (A lot of effort was invested in figuring out how to create the perfect fire storm which would destroy the close
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Chris Witt
I don't remember the last time it took me this long to get through a book, but this was one that I could only digest in 15-minute doses on the way to/from work. It doesn't make for the best nighttime reading material.

Thoroughly researched and thoroughly exhausting to read, "Der Brand" ("The Fire") is about as detailed an account as you can probably find on the bombing of Germany during World War II.

Friedrich gives what I found to be a very neutral, matter-of-fact 600 pages on the subject matter.
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Diego González
La historia la escriben los vencedores, es un tópico pero no por eso deja de ser una verdad. En El Incendio, se cuenta la guerra de bombardeos que los aliados (fundamentalmente EE.UU. y el Reino Unido) libraron contra la Alemania de Hitler entre 1940 y 1945, pero desde el punto de vista de los civiles alemanes que la sufrieron. Es una historia triste, épica y desgarradora, que merece figurar en los anales más negros de la historia. En cada página del libro flota la misma pregunta, una y otra vez ...more
Adam
A minutely-detailed survey of the Allied bombing of Germany. Some passages are gripping, others are impossibly boring and repetitive (see the 'Land' chapter). The overall intention is the reconstruct the catastrophe of civilian bombing, from strategic draft boards in England in 1940 to the psyche of the ordinary citizen in small German towns in 1945. Not surprisingly, Friedrich is deliberately inflammatory, blending vocabulary culled from Holocaust scholarship with first-person recollection of t ...more
Mike
A punishing book to read, but it was well worth it.

This gives a look at the air war against Germany from a perspective most Enlgish-speaking readers haven't encountered: that of the German civilian. It is a very angry book (but in a controlled way) and while the organization seems a bit unusual, I found it an interesting choice, as if we were getting the experience of an air raid survivor, with things being repressed and then breaking out at a later time.

I think the translation from the German c
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Anne Mcnamara
This book examine the past and how war can turn good man into monster, even when we want to see them as hero, the truth is much darker and deeper it a place where 170,000 German children have to pay the price for an tyrannous government without ever knowing the word Nazi even means. It a place that fueled the passion for Germans to pay the ultimate price in human life,The pivotal lesson we all can take from this book is that when men fight for something they belief is to be right and without an ...more
Eric
This book by Joerg Friedrich is now available in English. You will have to read it in small doses, as it shows the horrible toll on civilian life that the air raids over Germany during World War II caused. The author does not apologize for the crimes of the Third Reich; rather, he shows the often forgotten suffering of the civilian population, and how men such as "Bomber" Harris planned revenge raids on cities like Dresden. A controversial and interesting look at World War II from the other side ...more
Dale
This was worth reading, but it was not an easy read. Not because the subject matter is gruesome (there's relatively little in the way of gory details), but because of the quirky, see-saw way in which the narrative is structured. Another serious look from the editors could yield a book about 150 pages shorter and much more readable.

That aside, this gives an extraordinary look into what exactly happened in the WWII bombing regime against Germany. An informative historical read.
Matti Karjalainen
Jörg Friedrichin "Suuri palo: liittoutuneiden pommitukset Saksassa 1940-1945" (Ajatus, 2005) käsittelee Englannin ja Yhdysvaltain ilma-armeijoiden suorittamia pommituksia toisen maailmansodan aikana. Ilmestyessään kirja herätti ristiriitaisia tunteita, sillä arvokkaasta aiheestaan huolimatta saksalaisen siviiliväestön kärsimykset ovat olleet pitkään jonkinlainen tabu historiankirjoituksessa.

Friedrich kuvaa kirjassaan käsittämättömiin suhteisiin kasvaneita pommituksia, jotka tappoivat kymmeniä tu
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Cody
This intriguing work takes the reader into the science and engineering of fire's destructive force with the German bombing campaign during WWII. Long and widely known are the human cost and cultural damage of the fires of Germany, but this book details the how and process of that destruction. Very interesting work fairly recently translated from German.
Robert  Finlay
Very detailed account, from many perspectives, of Allied fire-bombing of Germany. A fascinating, eloquent narrative. Defeating Hitler obviously was a good thing, but 70,000 children died in the bombings: so was that a war atrocity? and was it justified?
Sean
Although I think this was an important and likely unique contribution to the history of the war, it ultimately undermines itself. It's academically sloppy like Hitler's Willing Executioners in its approach to social history, which is perhaps the most unfortunate lapse. So much social history from the German side of the war is forever lost because historians did not do the work. For all its lamentation of the suffering of Germans, it's far more concerned with the loss of art, culture and architec ...more
Nathan
Friedrich has hit upon a bold and necessary theme: reminding us that war's edge cuts both ways. Every single account of aerial raids I have read up to now has been concerned with the German blitz of London. Here, the civilian population of Germany is given its own elegy, long overdue and sorely needed. The concept is new and very important. As a history, this book is rather less impressive. The record is distorted by sporadic ruminations on the philosophical nature of bomb warfare as such, and w ...more
Luis
la Segunda Guerra siempre será un tema de estudió y lectura apasionante. Y más desde el punto de vista alemán, siempre se habla del bombardeo en Londres en el 40 y sobre las V1 y los V2 pero nunca sobre la destrucción sistemática que sufrieron los civiles alemanes.
Michael Greening
Excruciatingly detailed horror story of the Allied bombing of Germany in the Second World War. Reading that is hard to stomach, but chock full of insight
Albino
Harsh and unremitting, a must if have read Slaughterhouse 5 and sympathize with Vonnegut's argument that, well, allied bombing of German cities was at best disingenuous, and at worst, simply another category of evil during that time.
Yuki
It made me realise that talking about the damage of invading countries was considered to be taboo for long time. Reading through this book, I thought war itself is evil because it causes huge loss for all humankind.
Margaret Sankey
Inadvertent companion volume to Fire and Fury, the WWII bombing of Germany as written in German by a German historian, relying primarily on German-collected oral histories.
Paco Crespo
A pesar de la lamentable traducción al español (Ed. Taurus), un libro realmente sensacional.
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