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by Randall Hansen

eBook Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945 download ISBN: 045122759X
Author: Randall Hansen
Publisher: NAL Hardcover; 1 edition (July 7, 2009)
Language: English
Pages: 368
ePub: 1470 kb
Fb2: 1336 kb
Rating: 4.4
Other formats: lit lrf txt lrf
Category: Different
Subcategory: Humanities

Fire and Fury by Randall Hansen is an excellent, well- written historical inquiry into the differing strategies of. .The Tokyo fire bombing raids of March 1945 killed over 140,000 civilians alone.

Fire and Fury by Randall Hansen is an excellent, well- written historical inquiry into the differing strategies of British Bomber Command and the USAAF in the bombing of Germany World War II. Very briefly, the British bombing plan was to carpet bomb entire German cities into rubble, causing as much destruction and death as possible. The announced intention was to destroy the morale of the German people. Curtis LeMay himself remarked after the war that if the US had lost the war, he would be found guilty of war crimes.

Xiii, 352 pages, pages of plates : 24 cm. Focusing on the crucial period from 1942 to 1945, Fire and Fury tells the story of the American and British bombing campaign through the eyes of those involved: the military and civilian command in Ameri.

X, 353 . p. of plates : 24 cm. Delivers the argument that the bombing of Germany by the Allied forces in the Second World War did not only fail to win the war, but in fact prolonged i. Delivers the argument that the bombing of Germany by the Allied forces in the Second World War did not only fail to win the war, but in fact prolonged it; discusses the United States campaign which played an important and largely unrecognized role in delivering an Allied victory; and re-examines the suffering of the German population during World War II. Includes bibliographical references (p. 325-336) and index

During the Second World War, Allied air forces dropped nearly two million tons of bombs on Germany, destroying some 60 cities, killing more than half a million German citizens, and leaving 80,000 pilots dead.

Focusing on the crucial period from 1942 to 1945, Fire and Fury tells the story of the American and British bombing campaign through .

He was born in Canada and has lived in the UK, US, France, Ireland, and Germany.

Author Randall Hansen argues in Fire and Fury that the two approaches need to be considered y .

Author Randall Hansen argues in Fire and Fury that the two approaches need to be considered y because, in his judgment, they are unequal. American precision bombing, he asserts, was far more effective and far less morally fraught than British area bombing. The British began nighttime area bombing of cities because prior to 1943 that was the only way their Bomber Command could strike Germany without heavy losses.

Randall Hansen is a political scientist and historian at the University of Toronto, where he has held a.

The relentless bombing of German cities by Allied forces in the Second .

The relentless bombing of German cities by Allied forces in the Second World War continues to inflame controversy among scholars and the general public in North America and Europe. And then, as Randall Hansen recounts in the preface to Fire and Fury, there was the thoroughly unedifying spectacle of Canadian War Museum officials scrambling, in 2007, to appease some veterans by rewriting a plaque about the Allied aerial campaign. In Fire and Fury Hansen fuses these controversies by arguing that the area bombing campaign was ethically unjustifiable precisely because it was militarily ineffectual.

During the Second World War, Allied air forces dropped nearly two million tons of bombs on Germany, destroying some 60 cities, killing more than half a million German citizens, and leaving 80,000 pilots dead. But the terrible truth is that much of the bombing was carried out against the expressed demands of the Allied military leadership, leading to the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Maybe that’s because its title is Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945. But Professor Hansen said he found it appropriate and satisfying that his book about the cost and futility of war has gained attention, accidentally or otherwise, because of the current administration in Washington.

During the Second World War, Allied air forces dropped nearly two million tons of bombs on Germany, destroying some 60 cities, killing more than half a million German citizens, and leaving 80,000 pilots dead. But the terrible truth is that much of the bombing was carried out against the expressed demands of the Allied military leadership, leading to the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Focusing on the crucial period from 1942 to 1945, Fire and Fury tells the story of the American and British bombing campaign through the eyes of those involved: the military and civilian command in America, Britain, and Germany, the aircrews in the skies who carried out their orders, and civilians on the ground who felt the fury of the Allied attacks. Here, for the first time, the story of the American and British air campaigns is told—and the cost accounted for.
Comments: (7)
Trash
Fire and Fury by Randall Hansen is an excellent, well- written historical inquiry into the differing strategies of British Bomber Command and the USAAF in the bombing of Germany World
War II.
Very briefly, the British bombing plan was to carpet bomb entire German cities into rubble, causing as much destruction and death as possible. The announced intention was to destroy the morale of the German people.
The American Strategic Air Forces plan was one of daylight precision bombing attacks on military targets such as aircraft factories, manufacturing facilities, oil installations and transportation hubs, all in order to eliminate the German ability to continue the war.

I will not presume to re-tell Mr. Hansen's story here. That would not do justice to the research he did into his subject or to the masterful presentation of the facts leading to his conclusion. That conclusion seemed evident to me, but it may be controversial to some.

There is not a dull page in this book; it is fascinating for any fan of WWII history. Facts are clearly presented, and conclusions clearly drawn. In the 297 pages ( photos, also) great battles are fought over Germany, and between the Allies, indeed, within the British command structure itself.
I bought the book a few years ago, but I am sorry I waited so long to read it. If you are at all interested in the air war in Europe, read it.

Fascinating, worthwhile, recommended.
IGOT
This is a great book with lots of detail on Allied carpet bombing of Germany cities in World War II. Plenty of primary sourcing. Americans and Brits took different directions in the matter; Hansen reports the thinking of both sides. His account raises questions on the morality of deliberately bombing civilians -- a debate relevant to modern savagery. After buying Michael Wolff's recent Fire and Fury, I read that some people bought Hansen's book by mistake. The story tipped me off to this volume and I downloaded it. Both tomes are well worth the price of admission albeit for different reasons.
in waiting
I would recommend to anyone interested in indiscriminate bombing of Germany, esp.of civilians and non-industrial targets, in WW2
LeXXXuS
This is *not* a thrilling and/or terrifying account of being on a bombing mission or being on the receiving end of one. That stuff is in the book, but it is maybe 25% of it. The other 75% is analysis of bombing policies and targets and endless memos sent between various RAF and USAAF commanders as well as various Nazi officials. If you don't have a deep interest in WW II history at that level, you may find yourself skipping over parts of it. You will learn how much the RAF policy was basically to kill every person and blow up every building in Germany. Also note USA bombing policy in Japan gets maybe a sentence.
Grosho
Randall Hansen's "Fire and Fury" is superb. The book begins with a riveting description of the British fire bombing of Hamburg in 1943, told from the perspective of the German civilians who suffocated in shelters and cellars, sank into molten asphalt while bursting into flame, boiled alive in Hamburg's canals or were sucked into the world's first fire storm by hurricane-force winds. 40,000 people died in one city in one night, and Hansen makes it painfully clear what it felt like to be on the receiving end of the British "area bombing" campaign.

Hansen carefully explains the differences between British and American strategy. For Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, the point of night time area bombing was to kill, injure and demoralize the workforce that served German industry. Destroying the factories themselves was fine, but only incidental to the primary mission of incapacitating the workers. The Americans, led by Generals Hap Arnold, Carl Spaatz, and Jimmy Doolittle, insisted on "precision" bombing, dropping their bombs in daylight on military targets like ball bearing factories, oil refineries, railroad marshalling yards and other critical infrastructure. They also insisted on engaging and destroying the Luftwaffe, something they did very effectively. The Americans also killed civilians, but that was a side effect rather than the goal of bombing. The US air forces only participated once in the bombing of a German city center (Berlin in February 1945), and then only over the protests of General Doolittle and other senior commanders.

It is hard to come away from "Fire and Fury" without disliking Bomber Harris. The British had a very limited ability to strike back against Germany from 1939 to 1942, so area bombing was arguably justifiable as the only way to wage war during this period. But as the war went on, British precision bombing skills improved dramatically, as evidenced by the famous "dam busting" raids in the Ruhr Valley. It became increasingly obvious to the Americans and those who were reviewing Ultra intercepts that precision raids (conducted mostly by Americans and to a lesser extent by the British) were seriously disrupting the German war effort. Hansen skillfully brings in the testimony of German Armaments Minister Albert Speer, who feared that the British would follow up on their dam buster missions (they did not) or that the British and the Americans would combine their efforts against oil, rail, ball bearing and other vital targets. By 1943 or so, it should have been reasonably clear that precision bombing was producing the desired results and that area bombing was merely murdering people and stiffening Germany's determination to fight.

Hansen sets out the memos between Harris and his boss, Chief of Air Staff Sir Charles Portal. Harris had decided that killing German civilians in large numbers was the only way to win the war quickly, and he was determined to execute his strategy even if doing do bordered on insubordination. Portal and other leaders eventually began to realize that Harris was wrong, but they refused to order him bluntly to stop area bombing and to take up precision bombing. In part, it seems, they feared that the popular Harris would resign in the face of unequivocal orders. As it was, Harris read his ambiguous instructions in a way that enabled him to order a minimal number of precision "oil plan" and "transportation plan" raids, while aggressively pursuing his own strategy of leveling Germany's population centers. The exchange of memoranda among Harris, Portal and other leaders illustrate how a stubborn, popular and insubordinate officer can do great damage to a war effort even with the best of intentions--it is remarkable that the British high command did not deal more firmly with Harris, in the way that President Truman did when he relieved the popular General Douglas MacArthur from command during the Korean War.

The supporters of Bomber Harris' strategy of terror bombing (it's hard to call it anything else) will find Hansen's book a bitter pill. This emotionally powerful and well written book will make it clear that there is a huge difference, both morally and strategically, between bombing military targets while knowing that civilian casualties will be likely, and affirmatively seeking to kill, injure and demoralize civilians as a matter of policy. Another excellent book with a similar theme that covers the entire history of air power from Kitty Hawk through 2003 is Stephen Budiansky's Air Power : From Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II - A History of the People, Ideas and Machines That Transformed War in the Century of Flight--it, too, argues that the oil plan and the transportation plan very nearly brought Germany to its knees. Had British Bomber Command been led by a man able to move beyond his original vision, the war with Germany might have ended much sooner and with far less territory in Soviet hands.
Yojin
An excellent read! Hansen presents a compelling picture of the air war over Europe along with the various debates concerning so-called carpet bombing vs. precision bombing. Once again, the incredible losses of air personnel are illustrated along with first-hand civilian accounts of the bombing and its effects on the average "Joe" child on the ground. Heavy in places with figures and damage reports, but a fine survey of WW II air war over Europe.
Ieregr
Most interesting evaluations of different choices made by British and American air force's during European theater of operations on how to bomb Germany into submission. Well written and discussing moral as well as strategic factors involved.
Having been born in Kassel, one of the cities destroyed in raids, and over the years questioning the reasons for the carpet bombing of our German cities, this book has provided many answers and much needed clarity for me. A thousand thanks to the author.