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This is the first book to treat bombing during WWII as a European phemen and t just the 'Blitz' on Britain and Germany. With Western Europe w at the heart of a united continent, it is even more difficult to explain how only 70 years ago European states destroyed much of the urban landscape from the air. There were many blitzes between 1940 and 1945 with an estimated 700,000 people killed. The purpose of this book is to provide the basis for a comparison of the experience of western states under the impact of bombing. In particular, it considers the political, cultural and social responses to bombing rather than the military, strategic and social dimensions which have formed the core of the discussion hitherto. This book will correct the popular perception of the British Blitz as the key bombing experience by exposing the reality of life under the bombs for communities as far apart as Brest, Palermo, and Rostock. An international panel of historians consider the issues raised amidst the bombing of human rights and protection of civilians in this seminal event in C20th history.
Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the British Academy and Fellow of King's College. In 2001 he was awarded the Samuel Elliot Morison Prize of the Society for Military History for his contribution to the history of warfare.