Published in 1944 by a former British Principal Secretary of the Air Ministry as a response to increasing discontent in Britain with the Allied bombing of German cities, this book set out to justify the saturation bombing of civilians.
Reflecting official British government policy, it states clearly that the idea to saturate bomb civilian targets was initiated by the British in May 1940, and that Hitler opposed to this concept and refused to retaliate for months while the German cities were bombed, hoping that “Churchill would come to his senses.”
This belief is dismissed as “stupid” by Spaight, who went on to describe as “pacifists” and “socialists” those Britons who objected to the bombing of civilians. The British bombers were designed to bomb cities, he said, while the “Teutonic mind” never even considered such a policy, and instead viewed an air force merely as a tool to “blast open” a path for attacking armies. The German air force, he pointed out, was never used for anything else until ordered to retaliate against the British campaign.
“Whatever Hitler wanted or did not want, he most assuredly did not a want the mutual bombing to go on. He had not wanted it ever to begin. He wanted it, having begun, to be called off. There was ample evidence that he did not want the latter kind of bombing to become the practice. He had done his best to have it banned by international agreement.”
This is a shocking reminder of the horror of war which provides a fascinating insight into the brutal psychology of the time.
This book has been reproduced exactly as it was first published in 1944.
Now with a new introduction which details the factual errors made by the original author with respect to some of his sources, and the effect of bombing upon German production.
Note to 2013 edition
Chapter I: The Bomber Saves Civilisation
Chapter II: Tactics and Strategies
Chapter III: Our Great Decision
Chapter IV: The Battle-Towns
Chapter V: The Bombing of Civilians
Chapter VI: The Tokyo Outrage
Chapter VII: Retrospect And Prospect