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Mission to Berlin    by Robert F. Dorr order for
Mission to Berlin
by Robert F. Dorr
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Subtitled 'The American Airmen Who Took the War to the Heart of Hitler's Reich', this book chronicles the exploits of the airmen who took the war to Germany, and more specifically Berlin, in the closing days of World War II.

Much of this narrative is focused on the mission that unfolded over the German capital on February 3, 1945, which was the next to last major Eighth Air Force effort against Berlin and the largest bombing mission undertaken against a single target.

Using the words of official reports, airmen's diaries, and his personal interviews of hundreds of veterans, Robert Dorr takes the reader from the airfields of England to the flak filled skies over the target as he covers the mission from every conceivable vantage point. You'll follow the action from the point of view of not only the bomber crews and ground personnel but also the escort fighter pilots who flew cover for the B-17s and B-24s.

Once airborne, the bomber crews faced long stretches of quiet time as they winged over the fields of Europe before all hell broke out as they closed in on their target in the heart of the Reich. Defended by forty miles of searchlights and flak batteries, plus airfields where upwards of 1,600 combat-aircraft were hangered, Berlin was a formidable mission destination even as the war wound down.

Discussing his book, Dorr explained one of his goals in writing it. 'I hope readers will get a feel for how terribly dangerous the bombing mission was and how magnificently these very young men performed,' he said. 'Above all, Mission to Berlin is a reminder that the outcome of World War II was never a sure thing and that these men never knew, from one day to the next, what was going to happen and who was going to win.'

Along with the highly readable narrative, this book also includes twenty black and white photos, two maps and line sketches of the some of the aircraft.

Any military historian or individual interested in World War II, the air war, or the exploits of the men of the Eighth Air Force will find this a totally riveting book and one he or she want to add to his/her private library.

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