November 14, 1940Book - 2015
Details the German Luftwaffe's air raid that obliterated the city of Coventry in 1941, marking a new kind of air warfare, influencing the United States to stray from isolationism and leading to bombings of Dresden and Hamburg.
The German Luftwaffe's air raid on Coventry, England on the night of November 14, 1940 represented a new kind of air warfare. Aimed primarily at obliterating all aspects of city life, it was systematic, thorough, unconnected to any immediate military goal, and indifferent to civilian casualties. In a single night, roughly two-thirds of the city's buildings were damaged or destroyed as the bombers laid waste to legitimate industrial targets and civilian structures alike. The old St. Michael's Cathedral, a 14th century Gothic structure that burned to the ground that night, still stands in ruins today as a testament to the city's destruction during the raid. Pragmatic British government propagandists would exploit Coventry's perceived status as a "historic town," playing down the city's industrial reputation. This would prove to be a powerful tool, and, as Frederick Taylor shows, was instrumental in tipping public opinion in the then-neutral United States away from isolationism and in favor of help for Britain.
But the bombing would also set a dangerous and destructive precedent as Allied air forces would study the Germans' methods in the attack and ultimately employ similar tactics in their equally ruthless and destructive attacks on German cities, eventually leading to the bombing of Hamburg in 1943 and Dresden in 1945 that killed hundreds of thousands, mostly civilians.
On the 75th anniversary of the Coventry bombing, acclaimed historian Frederick Taylor brilliantly narrates this momentous act and analyzes its impact on World War II and the moral quandaries it still engenders about the nature of warfare.
The dramatic story behind the German air raid on Coventry, England, at the beginning of World War II, and its impact not just on the history of the war, but also on the nature of warfare.
Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Coventry bombing, a riveting account vividly brings to life the German air raid on Coventry, England, at the beginning of World War II and its impact on the history of war as well as the nature of warfare. By the author of Dresden. Illustrations.
Examines the German Luftwaffe's air raid on Coventry, England, on November 14, 1940, and its impact and precedent as a new kind of air warfare.