Inferno: The Fiery Destruction of Hamburg, 1943

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2007 - History - 430 pages
In the summer of 1943, British and American bombers launched an attack on the German city of Hamburg that was unlike anything the world had ever seen. For ten days they pounded the city with over 9,000 tons of bombs, with the intention of erasing it entirely from the map. The fires they created were so huge they burned for a month and were visible for 200 miles.

The people of Hamburg had no time to understand what had hit them. As they emerged from their ruined cellars and air raid shelters, they were confronted with a unique vision of hell: a sea of flame that stretched to the horizon, the burned-out husks of fire engines that had tried to rescue them, roads that had become flaming rivers of melted tarmac. Even the canals were on fire.

Worse still, they had to battle hurricane-force winds to escape the blaze. The only safe places were the city's parks, but to reach them survivors had to stumble through temperatures of up to 800C and a blizzard of sparks strong enough to lift grown men off their feet.

Inferno is the culmination of several years of research and the first comprehensive account of the Hamburg firestorm to be published in almost thirty years.

Keith Lowe has interviewed eyewitnesses in Britain, Germany, and America, and gathered together hundreds of letters, diaries, firsthand accounts, and documents. His book gives the human side of an inhuman story: the long, tense buildup to the Allied attack; the unparalleled horror of the firestorm itself; and the terrible aftermath. The result is an epic story of devastation and survival, and a much-needed reminder of the human face of war.

Includes nineteen maps and thirty-one photographs, many never seen before

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INFERNO: The Fiery Destruction of Hamburg, 1943

User Review  - Kirkus

A thoroughgoing history of the Allied bombing campaign that leveled a great German city—but did little damage to the Nazi war machine."I have very little problem with the fact that Hamburg was bombed ... Read full review

Inferno: the fiery destruction of Hamburg, 1943

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This book, by a British novelist and history editor, joins Jorg Friedrich'sThe Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945 and Marshal De Bruhl'sFirestorm: Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden ... Read full review

Contents

1
24
Part II
39
The Grand Alliance
54
The British Plan
65
Contents
88
The Devastation Begins
97
The Americans Join the Fray
117
The Luftwaffe Strikes Back
126
Survival
277
97
280
Famine
284
The Reckoning
293
Redemption
303
Acknowledgments
321
B Chronology of World War II
327
Chronology of Operation Gomorrah
333

The Americans Again
150
The Eye of the Storm
160
Concentrated Bombing
170
Firestorm
183
20
191
41
201
54
208
The Terror of Hamburg
215
Coup de Grace
228
The Tempest
245
Part III
263
E British Order of Battle
339
G Luftwaffe Order of Battle of Fighters in the West
345
Tables
361
J Aircraft Specifications
367
K Financial Cost of the Hamburg Bombings
373
117
403
Archives Consulted
411
150
419
204
425
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Keith Lowe was born in London in 1970. After travelling around the world for several years, he studies English Literature at Manchester University. He now works as a nonfiction editor in a UK publishing house.

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