To Destroy a City

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-03-19
  • Publisher: Da Capo Pr
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Herman Knell was nineteen and living in Wurtzburg in March of 1945 when hundreds of Allied planes arrived overhead, unleashing a torrent of bombs on the city. Wurtzburg's tightly packed medieval housing exploded in a firestorm, killing six thousand people in one night and destroying 92 percent of the city's structures. Despite the fact that Wurtzburg had no strategic value, the city emerged from World War II second only to Dresden in material destruction inflicted from the air. The experience led Knell to years of research on the history, development, and effects of the strategy of area bombing.To Destroy a City is the result of the author's long and unrelenting investigation. His analysis of this form of warfare, which reached its zenith during World War II, covers the history and the development of wide-area bombing since 1914, examines its wartime effectiveness and the consequences. But the extra dimension that Knell's book offers is his firsthand experience of the tension, fear, tentative defiance, and, finally, utter catastrophe of being on the receiving end of overwhelming air power. For Americans, who fortunately did not experience bombing during the war, this is essential reading.

Author Biography

Herman Knell emigrated to Canada after the war and became an engineer, publishing numerous papers in his field. His research on this book began in 1984, drawing on sources throughout the world. He currently lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 5
Wurzburg As Targetp. 17
Strategic and Non-Strategic Assets of Wurzburgp. 19
Possible Reasons for the Raidsp. 24
The Raids Beginp. 31
The Big RAF Raidp. 38
The USAAF Raidsp. 45
The History of Strategic Bombing
The Road to Area Bombingp. 51
The Bomber Practitionersp. 69
Bombing in World War Ip. 91
Political Events That Led to World War Ip. 91
The Military Operationsp. 98
Between the World Warsp. 119
Peace and Disarmamentp. 119
Bombing and Rearmamentp. 130
Bombing in World War IIp. 165
1939 to April 1940: The Phony Warp. 169
1940: Two Blitzkriegs and the Start of Strategic Bombingp. 175
1941: More Blitzkriegsp. 193
1942: Turning of the Tidep. 207
1943: The Bombers Are Comingp. 217
1944: Bombing Unrestrictedp. 230
1945: Germanyp. 252
1945: Japanp. 258
The Effect and Effectiveness of Strategic Bombing
Military and Civil Defensep. 271
Military Defensep. 271
Civil Defensep. 278
Gas in Aerial Warfarep. 287
Loss of Cultural Assetsp. 295
Psychological Effects of Bombingp. 303
The Victims and Their Treatmentp. 313
Strategic Bombing and International Lawp. 323
Conclusionp. 330
Bibliographyp. 335
Endnotesp. 345
Indexp. 369
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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