"Nightfighters- Luftwaffe and RAF Combat over Europe 1939-1945" by Heaton and Lewis

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by PCScipio42, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    Started this one the past week. Originally written as Heaton's master thesis at Temple University. I haven't finished it yet, but so far it has been a good read. Heaton's thesis is that the night bombing campaigns were not as effective as advertised and may have been a waste of materiel and resources. Book has demonstrated the technology introduced and how it affected the night campaigns. I am not totally convinced that the campaigns were a waste, but the author is making some cogent arguments in support of his thesis.
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    oh boy, this will get ugly fast
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't disagree but sometimes in war you have to do something even if its not effective. Few would deny that the night bombing campaign was ineffective until the electronic navigation aids started to arrive. However the nation needed something to be done for Morale purposes.
    Equally few would disagree that to continue night bombing after around Sept 1944 was counter productive as the losses at night often exceeded daylight bombing raids. Also a personal view I admit but to me Peenemunde proved that Night bombing could be effective against strategic targets and the RAF would be more effective attacking targets like that rather than carpet bombing cities.

    Basically it sounds like a good read.
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Not read that one and it sounds interesting.

    Rather than ascertaining the effects,or lack thereof,of the bombing campaign on German production,man power resources,armaments,morale etc, does he suggest what might have happened had there been no campaign. An awful lot of histories seem to me to ask the wrong question :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... sometimes in war you have to do something even if its not effective."

    As in nature .... and war is an extension of nature. Nature is very, very wasteful .... just look at sperm production. Nature puts out options to cover every eventuality -- early spring, late hard frost, dry spring .... this way the species (in this example Black Flies) always 'gets through'.

    The British public having survived the damn blitz and the brutal effrontery of the Bosch wanted payback. Measure THAT Heaton and Lewis.

    MM
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    before this thread gets out of hand and we and other military forums have covered this to the extremes even by saying Harris was a war criminal.........let's not go there Gentlemen.................

    in a couple of words NO IT WAS NOT A WASTE OF TIME OR EFFORT(s)...
     
  7. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    It certainly wasn't my intent to start a big to do whenI posted on this book. I have found the book so far to be well written, informative, and a good read. I would recommend it based on those reasons alone. I haven't finished it yet to find the authors conclusion on their "thesis". I will say that it is their opinion that the war would have been shortened if the Allies would have concentrated on the rail net and oil with their bombing. However, my opinion is that conclusion is based too much on what was known after the war.

    It is also my opinion that the Germans reaped what they sowed. I don't feel that the campaign was a waste, if for no other reason that it tied up quite a few units and caused the Germans to put resources into defending it. There also was the bonus of Hitler making bad decisions in terms of production priorities in response the the bombings.

    This is the third book I have read by Heaton and Lewis. The first two "Star of Africa" and The Luftwaffe Aces Speak" are great books. This one is very good as well. I will post more thoughts when I finish the book.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    might be wise to pick u the two volumes on the Nachtjagd War Diaries by Dr. Theo Boiten and Rod McKenzie. the most thorough materials yet written on the subject of the LW NJG's vs BC at night.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    probably cant get that publication here in aus. Do they make any conclusions? Was it all a big waste of time?
     
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