Bombing Hitler's Hometown
Michael P. Croissant
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte
A brilliant, groundbreaking slice of military history, this riveting story of white-knuckled action over one of Europe’s most heavily defended targets in the waning days of World War II also tells of the aftermath of the Linz, Austria, bombing—the heart-wrenching tales of survival and recovery, and the toll of warfare on both sides.
In April 1945, Linz was one of Nazi Germany’s most vital assets. It was a crucial transportation hub and communications center, with railyards brimming with war materiel destined for the front lines. Linz was also the town Hitler claimed as home and had long intended to remake as the cultural capital of Europe, filling its planned Fuehrermuseum with world-famous art stolen from his conquered territories.
Inevitably, Linz was also one of the most heavily defended targets remaining in Europe. The airmen of the Fifteenth Air Force were a mix of seasoned veterans and newcomers. As their mission was unveiled in the predawn hours of April 25th, audible groans and muffled expletives passed many lips. The reality of that mission would prove more brutal than any imagined.
In the unheated, unpressurized B‑24 Liberator and B‑17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, young men battled elements as dangerous as anything the Germans could throw at them. When batteries of German anti‑aircraft guns opened fire, the men flew into a man‑made hell of exploding shrapnel. Aircraft and men fell from the sky as Austrian civilians on the ground also struggled to survive beneath the bombs during the deadly climax of Hitler’s war.
Drawing on interviews with dozens of America’s last surviving World War II veterans, as well as previously unpublished sources, Mike Croissant compellingly relates one of the war’s last truly untold stories—a gripping chronicle of warfare, the death of Nazi Germany, and the beginning of the Cold War. It is also a timeless tale of courage and terror, loss and redemption, humanity and savagery.
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