Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War against Nazi Germany 

Written by:
Donald L. Miller
Narrated by:
Joe Barrett

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
5
Narrator
1
Release Date
November 2023
Duration
24 hours 19 minutes
Summary
Now a major television event from Apple TV, Masters of the Air is the riveting history of the American Eighth Air Force in World War II, the story of the young men who flew the bombers that helped bring Nazi Germany to its knees, brilliantly told by historian and World War II expert Donald Miller.

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 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.
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Anonymous

I read this in preparation for the new Apple TV show with the same name, and I let me tell you... this is one of the best books I've ever read! Although the show is going to be more about the 100th Bomb Group, the book is an extensive history of the 8th Air Force as a whole. The detail Miller put into the book is amazing. If you're interested in WWIl aviation or just amazing history in general, Masters of the Air is a book for you!

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