Monday 30 March 2009

First Blitz

Just finished reading First Blitz by Neil Hanson, an account of the German bomber raids on London in World War One and the secret plan to firebomb London the mission for which was aborted with minutes to spare in September 1918 as the German bombers were poised for take-off.

The book is very well written and a good read. Hanson concentrates on three three alternating themes throughout the book as he proceeds chronologically from the first German raid on Dover on Christmas Eve 1914 through the end of the war. Concentrating on the Luftwaffe's London Squadron (officially known as the Carrier Pigeon Unit!), the British political and military response and the impact on the civilian population of London and South-East England, using many first hand accounts (both British and German). The descriptions of the impact on the civilian population is harrowing in parts and the impact on the morale of the population cannot be understated. Certainly H.G.Wells' Shape of Things to Come appears somewhat less prophetic after reading about the level of panic the relatively few German raids caused amongst the capital's population.

Overall, an excellent book about a relatively unknown subject and one of interest not only for World War One gamers but also VSF ones who can substitute the Gotha's and Giants for aeronef...

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