Book Review: Mission to Berlin: The American Airmen Who Struck the Heart of Hitler's Reich


by Robert F. Dorr

Minneapolis: Zenith Press, 2011. Pp. vi, 328. Illus., maps, appends., notes, biblio, index. $28.00. ISBN: 0760338981

Aviation historian Dorr uses the penultimate Eight Air Force raid on Berlin, on February 3, 1945, as a means of examining the American air campaign against the German capital.

Making comparisons with earlier missions, policies, tactics, and equipment as necessary, Dorr follows the experiences of several B-17s and their crews from the initiation of the mission through its preparations, the long flight in, the actual attack, and the long flight back, with much air-to-air combat in between.  Each of his seventeen chapters covers a different aspect of the mission, from “Waking Up” through “Thirty Seconds Over Berlin” to “Wheels Down” and “Wrap Up.” Perhaps the most impressive chapters are two on “The Way In” and one on “The Way Out,” but the entire book is very detailed, often revealing little common place things well known to the airmen, yet not necessarily important enough to make it into most books on the air war. 

Mission to Berlin uses an engaging approach to the subject, and will prove rewarding reading even for seasoned students of the strategic air war against Germany.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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