'James Holland is a master' BBC History
It was to be the battle to end the air war, once and for alla
In the early days of 1944, as the build-up to D-Day intensified, an audacious plan was taking shape in the form of Operation Argument - a brutal and systematic strategy to finally sledgehammer the Luftwaffe into submission and ensure the skies were clear for the Allied invasion of France later that summer. In one fatal stroke they planned to deplete not only the German air force, but also the aircraft and munitions industry which supported it.
On Sunday 20th February, an airborne assault, the like of which had never before been seen, was unleashed. The Americans launched their first-ever thousand bomber raids by day while the RAF attacked by night.What followed over that week was one of the largest and most dramatic air battles ever witnessed.
In the first ever narrative history of Big Week, best-selling historian James Holland recounts the story of that extraordinary and brutal battle, underpinned by painstaking research and analysis. In day-by-day and often hour-by-hour detail, he follows the fortunes of some of the men - and women - who took part on both sides; commanders, pilots, air crew, ground staff, and civilians, revealing in forensic and heart-stopping detail the conditions, fear and drama of war in the air.
Big Week is the elemental story of bomber against flak gun, of fighter against fighter, in which tens of thousands of young men were pitted against each other in a punitive, bludgeoning clash of arms. It was one hell of a week.