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Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II Paperback – Illustrated, August 2, 2016
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John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die and September Hope, reveals the terror and triumph that shared the fiery skies of World War II—from the first dogfights over Europe to the last Kamikaze attacks over the Pacific.
This insightful chronicle takes readers inside the experiences of America’s fighter pilots and bomber crews, an incredible assortment of men who, in nearly four years of warfare all over the globe, suffered over 120,000 casualties with over 40,000 killed.
Their stories span the earth into every corner of the combat theaters in both Europe and the Pacific. And the aircraft explored are as varied, tough, and legendary as the men who flew them—from the indomitable heavy-duty warhorse that was the B-17 Flying Fortress to the sleek, lethal P-51 Mustang fighter.
In Deadly Sky, master historian John C. McManus goes beyond the familiar tales of aerial heroism, capturing the sights and sounds, the toil and fear, the adrenaline and the pain of the American airmen who faced death with every mission. In this important, thoroughly-researched work, McManus uncovers the true nature of fighting—and dying—in the skies over World War II.
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“These extraordinary eyewitness accounts put a human face on the bombing campaign against Nazi Germany, and tell the story of its savagely contested battles with rare power and empathy. McManus is a master of the art of oral history and one of the outstanding historians of World War II.”—Donald L. Miller, Author of Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
“Using their own words, a vivid, thematic report on the personalities, thoughts, and experiences of American airmen in combat during World War II. An important book and an exciting read.”—Gerald Astor, Author of The Mighty Eighth
“[Deadly Sky] is one of the most compelling books about men at war that I have ever read. It combines superb analysis of the World War II air war around the world with riveting, often heartbreaking eyewitness testimony from the participants...A truly great read.”—Tom Fleming, Author of The Great Divide
“Especially moving are the words of the men who struggled to make sense of the horrors of war. They were not simply extensions of the war effort but fiercely independent men who thought seriously about what they were doing.”—Smithsonian Air and Space
About the Author
- Publisher : Dutton Caliber; Reprint edition (August 2, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 045147564X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451475640
- Lexile measure : 1120L
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 1.07 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #295,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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It's hard to take seriously a book which attempts to take a clear eyed look at the American air war and its crews yet gets so much so wrong so early. I don't think I'll be finishing it. As it is, it mostly relies on inaccurate and inflated performance figures on several models of planes, ignores well-established statistics on operational and training casualties and accidents among aircraft models, and instead selects less than objective quotes from air crew to try to paint a mostly rosy picture of the Army Air Force in World War Two. The crews and the planes deserve better.
The majority of the recollections are actual quotes from those involved, although there are snippets of letters written to loved ones as well. All branches of the American armed forces are covered, with members of the 8th Air Force being the most common. However, there are nice bits from the CBI, Mediterranean and U.S. Navy, with a few Marines here and there.
Even though this book is weighted more heavily on the European side, it still was a great insight into what American airmen from all corners of the U.S. went through during the war. Well worth your time!