The strategic air war against Germany, 1939-1945 : report of the British Bombing Survey Unit


    • British Bombing Survey Unit
    • Beetham, Michael
    • Huston, John W.
    • Cox, Sebastian


The strategic air war against Germany, 1939-1945 : report of the British Bombing Survey Unit

with forewords by Michael Beetham and John W. Huston ; and introductory material by Sebastian Cox

(Cass series--studies in air power, 4)

F. Cass, 1998

  • cloth

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Includes bibliographical references and index



At the close of World War II, both the RAF and the United States Army Air Forces sent teams of investigators to Europe to try to assess the effectiveness of Allied strategic bombing. Whilst the American Survey was provided with lavish resources, its British counterpart was, by contrast, tightly constrained, largely at Churchill's behest. The numerous volumes of the US Survey were published shortly after the war and have been widely used by scholars ever since. The British Survey was originally classified, and was only made available in the archives some years later. Both British and American Surveys have had, and continue to have, a profound influence on the postwar histories of the bomber offensive, both official and unofficial. In the light of 1990s scholarship, however, it is now clear that the Surveys were prone to influences which affected the final judgements at which they arrived, and thus contributed to errors and bias which have carred through to subsequent historical analyses. By combining the original report, and an an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses, together with a short history of the genesis of the British Survey, this work aims to contribute to the continuing historical debate over the effects of the strategic bombing offensive in World War II.


  • Bombing policies and directifs
  • the scale and distribution of the bomber effort
  • the effects of the combined bomber offensive
  • achievements and possibilities of strategic air wars

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