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Bomber Boys: Fighting Back, 1940-1945

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Patrick Bishop looks back at the lives, human realities and the extraordinary risks that the painfully young pilots took during the strategic air-offensive against Germany from 1939-1945.
Hardcover, 429 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Campbell Mcaulay
Oct 04, 2011 Campbell Mcaulay rated it really liked it
Spellbinding and sobering

I've read many of Martin Middlebrook's accounts of the Bomber Command strategic campaign in WW2 and, if he didn't originate the style whereby historical accounts are presented largely through the eyes of the men at the sharp end, he certainly pioneered it. The method relies heavily on first hand accounts from soldiers, sailors or airmen and largely eschews the dry, dusty regurgitation of official documents and recollections from high level staff that kill popular history
Feb 25, 2010 Harvey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This IS an excellent and well researched work, in some ways better than Fighter Boys. Bomber Boys is in many ways a more difficult subject; the job was less 'glamorous' and less 'knightly' than that of the fighters, dare one say more punishing, it was a new style of warfare in relative terms and was of questionable morality, though one could argue about the morality of war anyway. Lastly 'Bomber' Harris was gifted more as an officer than a public relations expert. The book describes the horror t ...more
Norman Haskett
Oct 08, 2015 Norman Haskett rated it it was amazing
I found Patrick Bishop’s superbly written Bomber Boys: Fighting Back, 1940–1945 to be a riveting and sensitive account of the brave men in Britain’s Royal Air Force Bomber Command and the risks they took (often ending in their injury or death) to help end World War II in Europe. Bishop describes the major RAF air campaigns against Nazi Germany, often at great length (Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden among the most lurid), both from the perspective of the airmen (nearly a half million) and from the mill ...more
Apr 21, 2010 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bomber Harris I'd heard of, but I knew little, if anything about the men under his command. This book puts that straight. It is written about those who actually flew, the pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, rear gunners. Most of the recollections are take from their letters. This is because the Bomber Boys formed the front line of WWII. That meant the death rate was appalling. You cannot get away from the sense of loss - although there is a chapter dedicated to death the spectre of it is on almost ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Christopher rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii, history
Sometimes it is amazing to see the differences between how different people (or peoples) see the same events. Like his earlier book Fighter Boys Patrick Bishop tells Bomber Boys from a British perspective and for a British audience. However, I was well aware of the great stories and mythos of Fighter Command and the Battle of Britain. That quintessentially British story had been transported across the pond with only changes to vocabulary.

I didn't even realize how unfamiliar I was with the story
Mar 23, 2013 Regie rated it really liked it
Shelves: aviation
"Bomber Boys" tells the story of RAF Bomber Command throughout the Second World War.

Bishop offers a sympathetic view of the boys (and often they really were little more than that) who flew the Stirlings, Wellingtons, Manchesters, Halifaxs, Lancasters and Mosquitos and took the war to the enemy when there was no other way to do so. He does not, however, attempt to gloss over the reality of what a bombing war entails.

He examines the controversy that surrounds the "area bombing" tactics of "Bomber
Jun 25, 2011 Reds_reads rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii, 2011
A history of RAF Bomber Command during WWII with a particular emphasis on life for the bomber crews themselves. Much of the detail of their lives comes in their own words, either interviews or letters and paints a fascinating picture of life on operations and on base. The book also describes the changes in technology and strategy throughout the war and how these affected the men and their operations.

The issue of area bombing is not ignored, but neither is the desperation felt by the Allies in th
David Fletcher
Aug 26, 2009 David Fletcher rated it really liked it
Bomber Boys does not come across as a unique book, however in documenting the trials, tribulations and dramas of the RAF (and to a certain extent, USAF) bombing campaign against Germany. With fluent, factual information throughout, Bomber Boys is a great read. Perhaps my only criticism of it would be its often repetitive nature - Bishop tends in some instances to make a point then repeat it several times to no apparent effect. Otherwise, however, Bomber Boys is an excellent testament to the flyb ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Grahambootle rated it liked it
I read most of this book while I was flying, which looking back does seem a bit strange. It's a topic I have read about before and as usual it's the stories of the individuals that I enjoy most.

The way that the book is broken into sections doesn't seem to quite work but thinking about it, not quite sure how I would of done it differently.
Aug 20, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it
I liked this more than I expected to, in large part because the author is not an apologist for area bombing. Instead he focuses on the men who, sometimes reluctantly, but always bravely, did their duty. All in all, a rather judicious and highly informative work.
James Long
Sep 17, 2011 James Long rated it it was amazing
Read straight after Fighter Boys and it's more of the same. Really well written, researched and not too heavy on the historical quotations. Makes it easy to read like a novel. Very moving story.
Tim Corke
Jul 22, 2011 Tim Corke rated it really liked it
Excellent historical and personal insight into the thoughts of those involved with the RAF bombing campaign throughout the Second World War considering the political and social impacts that it had.
Oct 20, 2015 Olivia rated it really liked it
A great insight on the Bomber Command (Uk) during the Second World War. There were many details I never knew before and it was a big help for research I needed.
Laura rated it it was amazing
Jul 01, 2014
Robert Talbut
Robert Talbut rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2013
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Ross Gilfillan
Ross Gilfillan rated it it was ok
Jul 24, 2011
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Stephen Nesbitt
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Patrick Bishop was born in London and went to Wimbledon College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Before joining the Telegraph he worked on the Evening Standard, the Observer and the Sunday Times and in television as a reporter on Channel Four News. He is the author with John Witherow of a history of the Falkands War based on their own experiences and with Eamon Mallie of The Provisional IRA whi ...more
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