The Kassel Raid was written by Eric Ratcliffe and published by Air World Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 182

On Wednesday, 27 September 1944, a force of 283 Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers from the USAAF’s 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing, took off from their bases in Britain and headed out across the North Sea escorted by 198 P-51 Mustang fighters. The bombers’ target was the industrial city of Kassel in northern Germany. Among the bombers assigned to the raid were the aircraft of the 445th Heavy Bombardment Group. Thirty-five of the 445th’s Liberators, along with the 336 men who made up their crews, took off from their base near the village of Tibenham in Norfolk. Their specific target that day was the engineering works of Henschel & Sohn which built Tiger and Panther tanks. Kassel had been bombed by the Allied air forces in the past, most notably in October 1943 when more than 500 bombers had dropped 1,800 tons of bombs creating a firestorm that had ravaged the city. The raid on 28 September 1944, however, would have a far different result.

Certainly an intriguing read and certainly one that needs to be put out there more into the public market. But then I would think it probably isn’t due to the fact that the outcome is not one that the Americans would have wanted or would promote, but it would make a good book of the sadness of war. When you read this about the story it is tinged with sadness because of all the lost lives that occurred during this raid. Due to one error that can so easily be done, what did happen was devastating for a large number of crew and their planes, as they were then punched upon by an enemy group of fighter planes. The story is well told and the research and information within the book make it a really good quality book to buy. So credit to the author Eric Ratcliffe for his work. There is an excellent number of tables at the back of the book that details all the pilots and crew that were lost on the raid.  I still stand by my opinion that this would make a good film. I fully recommend this book to others.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.