Life and Death in Bomber Command is an intimate account of the human cost of the bombing offensive against Nazi Germany and targets in occupied Europe. The story of Lancaster rear gunner W/O Sidney Knott, DFC, unfolds within a detailed assessment of the bomber war by author Tony Redding. Sidney Knott survived sixty-four operations. The first tour, beginning in January 1943, included many ‘Battle of the Ruhr’ targets. His aircraft attacked Duisburg five times and Essen on three occasions. They also participated in three raids on Berlin. In April 1944, Knott began a second tour as a Pathfinder. Another thirty-five operations included attacks on German cities, but the focus was the assault on V1 and V2 sites and French rail targets prior to D-Day and the Normandy landings.
This unique combination of dramatic narrative and strategic overview includes controversial views about post-war perspectives on the morality of area bombing and its contribution to victory in Europe in May 1945. It is a moving account of squadron life and describes how every individual lived with unspoken fears. The story is complete as it also portrays how former aircrew struggled to set aside traumatic wartime experiences and adjust to life on ‘civvy street’.
Tony Redding has a BA Hons in Classical Archaeology. He is a journalist and international specialist in the media aspects of emergency response. He is the author of Best Endeavours, a study of marine salvage, War in the Wilderness: The Chindits in Burma 1943-44 and On the Street Where You Live: Growing Up in the 1950s. Life and Death in Bomber Command is Redding’s first book for Fonthill Media.