The German 'Blitz' that followed the Battle of Britain killed tens of thousands and laid waste to large areas of many British cities. And although the destruction of 1940-1 was never repeated on the same scale, fears that Hitler possessed a secret weapon of mass destruction never entirely died, and were partially realized in the VI and V2 raids of 1944-5. The British and American response to the 'Blitz', especially from 1943 onwards, was massive and incomparably more devastating - with apocalyptic consequences for German cities such as Hamburg, Dresden, and Berlin, to name but the most prominent.
In this ground-breaking new book, German historian Dietmar Suss investigates the effects of the bombing on both Britain and Nazi Germany, showing how these two very different societies sought to withstand the onslaught and keep up morale amidst the material devastation and psychological trauma that was visited upon them. And, as he reflects in the conclusion, this is not a story that is safely confined to the past: the debate over the rights and the wrongs of the mass bombing of British and German cities during World War II remains a highly emotional subject even today.
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Dietmar Süss is Professor of Modern History at the University of Augsburg. A prize-winning author and academic, he has published widely on the Third Reich, the Second World War, and themes post-war German history, and his books have been translated into several languages.
Convincing and deeply researchd. * Robert Gellately, Times Higher Education * superb, sharply observed, and, it should be said, very deftly written ... Suss's investigation is so broad and so rich that it is impossible to do justice to his authoritative work in a short review ... this is a magnificent ... book, full of insight and careful judgement. * Peter Fritzsche, Seminar *
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