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Bomber Boys


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Following on from his bestselling 'Fighter Boys', in this very different book, 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. In 'Fighter Boys' Patrick Bishop brought to life the pilots who flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in the summer of 1940. In 'Bomber Boys', Bishop tells a different but equally fascinating story. The 125,000 men from all over the world who passed through Bomber Command during the Second World War were engaged in a form of warfare that had never been implemented before and would never be again. Between 1940 and 1945 they flew continuously, stopping only when weather made operations impossible. For much of that time they were the only fighters capable of attacking Germany in its own territory. There was nothing romantic about their struggle. Often barely out of boyhood, they lived on bleak bases, flying at night on long, nerve-racking missions that often ended in death. The odds of surviving were stacked heavily against them. In all, 55,000 were killed, counting for nearly one in ten of all the British and Commonwealth war dead. Despite these sacrifices, the Bomber Boys have remained on the edges of our collective memory and their actions have been the subject of a controversy that continues to the present. In this powerful and moving work of history, Patrick Bishop compellingly captures the character, feelings and motivations of the bomber crews and pays tribute to their heroism and determination. 'Bomber Boys' brilliantly restores these men to their rightful place in our consciousness. Key title / Patrick Bishop's 'Fighter Boys' has sold over 126,000 copies in the UK alone and 'Bomber Boys' has sold over 25,000 copies in hardback since publication and was a Sunday Times bestseller. / A disturbing look at the brutality of WWII -- Patrick Bishop recounts the heroic undertakings of the Bomber Command; their difficult task and the extreme dangers they continually faced. / Life expectancy for a Bomber Command flier was shorter than for a soldier on the Western Front in 1916. / Acting as a campaign of awareness, 'Bomber Boys' is a tribute to these men whose great bravery, until now, has failed to be commended. / Competition: Richard Overy, Tim Vigors, Antony Beevor

About the Author

Patrick Bishop is a senior correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and author of `The Irish Empire'; with Eamonn Mallie, the acclaimed book `The Provisional IRA', and the bestselling `Fighter Boys'.


'Deeply humane, lucidly written and powerful!All this bravery, and the way of life that supported it, are faithfully recorded in Bishop's refreshingly unpretentious account.' Michael Burleigh, Sunday Times 'This is the best kind of military history -- the kind in which the author never loses sight of the impact of war on its victims, German as well as British, and those who were left behind. "Bomber Boys" will remind the survivors that they and their lost comrades are not forgotten. And it reminds the rest of us what their war was all about.' Daniel Johnson, Evening Standard 'This is a terrific book, so riveting, exciting and moving that it must help bring back the Bomber Boys to their rightful place of honour. A true war memorial.' Montagu Curzon, Spectator 'A compelling account of life in RAF Bomber Command![Bishop] covers every aspect of their lives!as he tells their stories, he keeps hold of the strategy that led these men to be flying in the first place.' Daily Telegraph 'Wonderfully sensitive and sympathetic!Bishop has produced a superb human portrait of the men who did so many remarkable things over Germany!this book is a fitting memorial to their sacrifice, and an admirably judicious verdict on the successes and failures of the bomber offensive.' Daily Mail 'Bishop narrates with the combination of cool curiosity and warm engagement common to the best foreign correspondents (a category to which, of course, he belongs)!Above all, he reveals how humanity stubbornly survives even within inhumanity!May Patrick Bishop's moving, sensitively written book gain many readers.' Frederick Taylor, Literary Review 'This book is!a tribute to the courage of the "Bomber Boys" themselves. It is not only persuasively argued but also thrilling and in places profoundly moving.' Daily Express 'I closed the book feeling a great flood of pity for both the bombed and the bombers. There is no contradiction: both were the sacrificial victims of war!as in all good books, it is the details that stick in the mind.' Mail on Sunday 'Brings vividly to life the experiences of the nearly half million people who served in Bomber Command!makes superb use of interviews with veterans, but also covers the strategic and moral issues with admirable objectivity and clarity.' The Times 'Bishop builds up an intimate day-to-day portrait of life in Bomber Command, through an extensive series of interviews!superbly written and authoritative!the members of Bomber Command now have a fitting commenmoration of their heroic deeds.' Observer 'No one reading this book can possibly doubt the heroism of those involved! there can't be a finer history.' New Statesman Praise for Fighter Boys: 'Powerful yet restrained, at times almost unbearably touching.' TJ Binyon, Evening Standard 'A superb account of the spirit and character of Fighter Command.' Martin Fletcher, Independent 'I know of no more thoughtful nor yet more moving study of their achievement.' Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph 'No one reading this book can possibly doubt the heroism of those involved!there can't be a finer history.' New Statesman 'Powerful yet restrained, at times almost unbearably touching.' Evening Standard 'As a vivid chronicle of who the Battle of Britain pilots were, what motivated them, and why they were ultimately successful, Fighter Boys is unsurpassed.' Daily Telegraph 'A living, breathing monument to the fighter boys.' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

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