Masters of the Air - Donald L. Miller

Masters of the Air

By Donald L. Miller

  • Release Date: 2006-10-10
  • Genre: Military
  • Book: Masters of the Air
Masters of the Air book review score

4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 31 Ratings)

Masters of the Air Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Masters of the Air is a great book. Our editors rated it with a top 5 stars.

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. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes you on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people.

Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured US air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers.

The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America—white America, anyway. The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland.

Masters of the Air is a story of life in wartime England and in the German prison camps, where tens of thousands of airmen spent part of the war. It ends with a vivid description of the grisly hunger marches captured airmen were forced to make near the end of the war through the country their bombs destroyed.

Drawn from recent interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, Masters of the Air is an authoritative, deeply moving account of the world’s first and only bomber war.

User reviews about the book

  • A shock to the system!

    5
    By Stepan1988
    This is easily one of the more compelling books I've read in some time. This history book goes well beyond the actual campaign and describes in detail what these men faced on their missions. The challenges encountered are almost beyond belief and reading this amongst the comfort I enjoy today heightens the stark contrast to the sacrifices of so many during that terrible time. Highly recommended reading!!
  • Masters of the Air

    5
    By Margaret Martin
    This book kept me interested from the first page to the last. For all of us that do not want history to repeat itself this is a must read.

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