Operation Chastise: The RAF's Most Brilliant Attack of World War II
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About the Author
Sir Max Hastings chronicles Vietnam with the benefit of vivid personal memories: first of reporting in 1967-68 from the United States, where he encountered many of the war's decision-makers including President Lyndon Johnson, then of successive assignments in Indochina for newspapers and BBC TV: he rode a helicopter out of the US Saigon embassy compound during the 1975 final evacuation. He is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.
"Readers of military history will find much to enjoy in this brisk, propulsive read that keeps the pages turning without sacrificing detail."--Library Journal
"Following a superb rendering of the attack, Hastings addresses two uncomfortable consequences: many civilians and, ironically, enslaved laborers were killed, and the operation failed its strategic ambition since the destroyed dams were quickly rebuilt. Hastings has composed a fitting memorial to Operation Chastise's participants."--Booklist
"[Hastings's] account of the events of May 16-17, 1943, will keep you on the edge of your seat, but his analysis of their causes and consequences is equally deserving of attention... He does not dismiss the attack's economic impact as comprehensively as some have done, even if it did not have the decisive effect that had been hoped for. But he sticks to his view, first articulated over 40 years ago, that the costs of the wider bomber offensive outstripped its results."--The New York Times Book Review
"Fascinating and immensely readable... a fine account, rich in human drama and tragedy, told by a historian whose new books are always to be welcomed. Operation Chastise is no exception."--Wall Street Journal
"The master of military history takes on Britain's celebrated May 1943 Dam Buster air attack. As his latest skillful history demonstrates, Hastings is still on top of his game, showing once again that the preparations, participants, and consequences of a military action are as fascinating as the fireworks. Another Hastings must-read."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Operation Chastise is a remarkable book, well in keeping with the impressive track record that Hastings long ago established as an astute chronicler of the human dimension of 20th-century conflict...Combining formidable narrative power with equally potent explanatory insight, it situates the Dambusters Raid in the broader strategic context of World War II as a whole, while serving as an illuminating entry point into the ethical debates concerning the Allies' air war against Germany."--Washington Post