The purpose of this book, therefore, has been to try to give an impression of what bombing means to those unlucky enough to be caught up in it? To that end, he does an admirable job. One cannot be unaffected by the scenes that Lowe presents to the reader.
Inferno: The Fiery Destruction of Hamburg, 1943
One feels that Lowe is struggling to find some value in this devastating and costly campaign to destroy German morale. No doubt it was true that?. The actual effect of the bombing on German morale, nevertheless, seems to have had a rather questionable effect on the outcome of the war. Lowe quotes one Hamburg resident about the effects of the bombing:?. This should perhaps not have been surprising, as the German Blitz on London and other British cities had hardly forced the British to surrender.
Why should the bombing of German cities have had a different result? Perhaps the British are not the only people capable of maintaining a? The only thing that saves this policy [of bombing civilians] from the charge of total immorality was that it was born of the best intentions,?
Or perhaps, reflecting, as it did, the knowledge gained from German attacks upon British cities, might the British bombing of German civilians simply have been motivated by the less honourable, though certainly understandable, desire for revenge? Nevertheless, Inferno is a powerful account of human tragedy on a massive scale.
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Drawing upon extensive documentation and eyewitness accounts, this important book is detailed and well researched. Lowe presents a well-balanced analysis of his subject, approaching this controversial topic with great insight and compassion.
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