Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany” as Want to Read:
Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,721 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
The riveting history of the American Eighth Air Force in World War Two, the story of the young men who flew the bombers that helped bring Nazi Germany to its knees, brilliantly told by historian Donald Miller and soon to be a major HBO series.

Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep
...more
Paperback, 688 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Simon Schuster (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Masters of the Air, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Masters of the Air

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Bou
Update May 2017: this book is currently turned in an HBO series, produced by Spielberg and Hanks.

This is an extensive read regarding the guys that were in the 8th air force and helped liberate Europe, including my country. I was awed by their adventures, stories and experiences that they had to endure in order to defeat the German Reich, particular the Luftwaffe.

Donald L. Miller writes about a lot of things, the personal lives of the pilots, bombers and gunners, their relationship with the Engli
...more
A.L. Sowards
This book did an impressive job of covering the air war in Europe, focusing on the US Eighth Air Force, based in England. The parts I most enjoyed were the experiences of the bomber crews, but he also covered strategic air theory going into the war, the debates and decisions of those higher up, American/British relationships, and the view from the German side.

Miller showed the ugly side of war—the results of fire-bombing, the intense mental strain the men were under, mistreatment of POWs and in
...more
Mike
How do we compare this new arena of warfare, especially in 1943, to other battles? In 1943, an Eighth Air Force crewman had an 80% chance of dying, being wounded, captured or going missing before completing 25 missions. The bombers always got through, never stopped by the German defenders. This book tells the story of the Eighth Air Force in WWII magnificently. 5 Battle Stars all the way!

If you want to understand the air war in WWII over Europe, this single volume will give you much of what you
...more
Marc
After sitting on my shelf for a few years, I finally decided to read this. Having read many books on the 8th AF over the years, I was hoping this wouldn't be a rehashing of what I'd previously read. I'm happy to say it wasn't.

The book concentrates solely on the bombers of the 8th AF, with very little attention paid to the fighters or the other American air forces in Europe, although they all do get a little bit of a mention here and there. Some units, such as the 100th BG, get a bit more ink tha
...more
Mark
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the subtitle of this book and assumed it was a collection of war stories from 8th Air Force crewmen. I'm not a huge fan of oral history but decided to give it a shot anyway. Wow was I pleasantly surprised. It is much, much more than an oral history. MASTERS OF THE AIR examines the entire experience of the 8th AF from POWs to its portrayal in movies and books to race relations to the effect of the American air bases on the social fabric of the English countryside to the whole question of t ...more
Marcus
I must admit that I'm having a bit of difficulty in finding the 'right label' for this book, mainly because its author tries in my opinion to cover in it at least three topics, all sharing the common denominator, but nonetheless quite separate from each other. The common denominator is of course the story of 8th Airforce and its bombing campaign against German Reich between 1942 and 1945. Lion share of this book is dedicated to a narrative of 'the human story' of this grand air formation and men ...more
Gerry
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would strongly recommend reading this book only after one has read "A Few Good Captains" by Dewitt S. Copp. It certainly dove tails the development of the USAAF into the USAF and shows the many struggles of pilots of all sorts of Aircraft during WW II and their attempt at surviving especially the early days of the war in the ETO. I wished it would have done more to cover the air war in the PTO but this is the American Psyche - war in Europe was known because of the general knowledge of America ...more
Robert Pinksten
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most in depth and descriptive book on the Air War in Europe I've ever encountered. It is mind boggling the amount of research that must have been done in writing this book. Loved it
Mandy Perret
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was very extensive but I enjoyed the commentary and fighter words. The anecdotal aspects were interesting. I learned more about war fighters than I ever thought I would.
Clyde
This long book is the definitive single-volume history of the American air war in Europe. The air war was brutal. An American bomber crewman in 1943 had only a one in five chance of surviving to the end of his tour of duty. The bomber command suffered more casualties in WW2 than the Marine Corps.
The book is centered on the 8th Air Force, but ranges far and wide covering the USA's daylight bombing campaign, the British night bombing campaign, fighter development and deployment, internal politics
...more
John Nellis
This book is one of the best I've read; on the American bombing campaign in Europe. This book contains almost anything you would want to know about the campaign. It has first person accounts; profiles on the planes; men; and equipment. It has sections on the beginnings of air medicine; and the psychological aspects of what the crews went through. From the supply services to the building of airfields. It's all here. The book is easy to read and keeps you interested throughout. I could go on; and ...more
J. Bryce
Easily one of the best things I've read on the "Mighty Eighth Air Force" in WWII -- but like The Monuments Men, I don't see how they (Spielberg, Hanks, and HBO) are going to make a miniseries out of it. Despite the inherent drama, there ain't much traditional plot -- but maybe that's why I'm not a screenwriter!

This will fascinate those interested in WWII history. There are anecdotes and personal histories galore, statistical analysis, strategic discussions and lots of parts where things get blow
...more
Frank
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
A wonderful analysis, with some good isolated analysis, as written in many cases, through the eyes of those who had served in the European Theater of the Air Corps.
Miller, portrays not only the dangers day to day of these brave souls, as the death rate and burnout was staggering in this branch of the service, but also the devastation that was brought to the ground by these same men.
You don't have to be a student of WWII to enjoy this book, as it is very accessible for all.
Craig Fiebig
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic discussion of the ETO air war. Interweaves the experiences of combatants at all ranks and their shifting roles and feelings through and (modestly) after the war. The author also reviews the analysis and dispels the after-action 'spin' that arose from the Strategic Bombing Survey. An excellent historical work.
Greg
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
WWII, in Europe, so the birth of modern aerial warfare. Essentially, the Eighth Air Force ushered in the age of large scale strategic bombing, developing, testing, revising and debating the effectiveness and morality of air campaigns as it proceeded. It is unquestionable that the men who fought in the bomber and fighter aircraft were, as a group, unquestionably brave and valorous. This story also deserves to be told not only in memory to these brave airmen, but so that the issues with which they ...more
Gary Foss
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid overview of the bombing campaign in Europe. Occasionally, Miller dives into what I'd have to call "soft" language to describe the historical figures he's covering. The general is "lantern-jawed" or "tough as nails" and one airman or another might be characterized in ways that are probably more appropriate for a novel or less specialized historical subject, but if that prose reads as a bit lavish from time to time, it is in the service of connecting readers to the humanity of thes ...more
Nate
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
Great book! A subject that I was somewhat familiar with was expanded beyond my expectations. The depth of detail about the missions completed and the effectiveness of strategic bombing in Europe was all encompassing and covered individual flyer stories, back-room negotiations at the highest levels, and insights from post-war German memoirs.
The TLDR is that the fabled Norden bombsite may have been very accurate, but sending thousands of planes into a dynamic war situation did not lead to pinpoint
...more
Don
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is 5 star book because the ratings don't go to 6.

There is no shortage of books on the air war fought over Europe in World War 2. Miller's book rises to the top of the stack based on the strength of his narrative gifts combined with his mastery of the subject.

Even a casual reader with only limited interest in the subject will enjoy this book.

I've read that HBO is going to do a mini-series a-la "Band of Brothers" based on this book. I am not sure how that will work -- there are no main chara
...more
Laura Raines
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book over a longer period than usual, which seems fitting since these men fought the longest battle of WWII. Often the brutal detail was hard to read, other times you felt like you know the guys well enough to laugh or cry with them. I'm grateful to Donald Miller who so thoroughly searched out, gathered, read and digested a vast amount of material in order to make a compelling and complex story out of the Mighty Eighth. He's an historian who never loses sight of the individual lives ...more
Tom
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miller's exhaustive study of the US' heavy bomber war against Nazi Germany will fascinate the neophyte while also engrossing the devoted scholar. Though my father in law flew over 50 missions over Europe in WWII, I never truly understood the horrors he carried within for the rest of his life until Miller so brilliantly brought that reality to light for me. A fascinating piece of scholarship.
Stephen
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grandfather was Crew Chief for the B26 Marauder 'Flak Bait' in World War II, so it was not only historical curiosity, but deep personal interest that drew me to this book. It was a good read and taught me much about the European air war, though sections on politics and bombing strategy dragged on at times.
LaDawn
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this very long and detailed book. It was a bit technical for me, a casual pursuant of World War II history, and I'm not sure I would have made it all the way through if I was just reading it. But listening to it as I sewed was great. I found myself thinking, "wow, I never knew that!" over and over.

I highly recommend it for anyone who loves history and planes!
David
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate that the author was able to describe a very gruesome campaign without being needlessly graphic, yet still we couldn't miss the horrific nature of the bombing campaign. I was particularly surprised by the treatment of American flyers by the Swiss. I had no idea it was so bad. I find this to be a good survey of an important topic.
Rebecca Vaughn
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to learn about the WWII Air Campaign while researching the details of my father's history.
I outlined and read the book in detail to digest the information.

I think Donald Miller's overview of the Eighth Air Force is comprehensive and respectable. I did find it to be jumpy at times. But overall, a must read for someone interested in the Eighth Air Force.
Glennchuck
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The four stars are for the exhaustive research and deep view into aspects of that war I've never seen addressed in such detail (or at all). The edition I read needs a firm edit for flow, organization, and even spelling.
Tim Freund
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Well written does not ge bogged down in technical details you get a good idea of what happened to these men.
Shawn
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little dry in parts but some great information and stories that I haven't been exposed to previously.
Frank
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the heroes, they will live in eternity.
Their deeds will echo forever.
John Breaux
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good.
Jerry Jordan
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very thorough coverage of the air war in Europe during World War II. Full of historical incidents that I was not aware of,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
THE WORLD WAR TWO...: 2013 - February - "Masters of the Air" by Donald Miller 182 87 Mar 09, 2013 01:22PM  
  • To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany
  • Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific
  • Bomber Command
  • The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King—the Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea
  • The Mighty Eighth: The Air War in Europe as Told by the Men Who Fought It
  • September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far
  • Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
  • The Few: The American ""Knights of the Air"" Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain
  • The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot
  • Combat Crew
  • Serenade to the Big Bird
  • The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe 1940-1945
  • Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II
  • A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II
  • Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II
  • The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It
  • Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
  • One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa
39 followers
Dr. Miller is the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History at Lafayette College and an expert on World War II, among other topics in American history. Three of his eight books are on WWII: D-Days in the Pacific (2005), the story of the American re-conquest of the Pacific from Imperial Japan; Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany (2006); and The Sto ...more
More about Donald L. Miller

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
    $12.74 $2.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival
    $8.49 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free
    $8.73 $1.99
  • The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do
    $10.00 $1.99
  • Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
    $19.93 $2.99
  • Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe
    $10.47 $1.99
  • The Dangerous Book for Boys
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
    $13.00 $2.99
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    $15.99 $2.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
    $13.99 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
“The Kingdom of Heaven runs on righteousness, but the Kingdom of Earth runs on oil. ERNEST BEVIN, CHURCHILL’S MINISTER OF LABOUR AND NATIONAL SERVICE London,” 1 likes
More quotes…