The red line

John Nichol

In March 1944, as part of Bomber Command′s ′Battle of Berlin′ to decimate Hitler′s capital city, the Royal Air Force attacked the spiritual home of the Nazi Party - Nuremberg.

The raid began on the evening of 30 March 1944 and was an uneventful operation. What makes this operation so significant was that it would be the costliest in terms of aircraft losses that RAF Bomber Command suffered in a single night attack during the whole of the Second World War.

The average attrition rate of a night raid was twenty planes, but, during this raid the British lost 96 Lancaster, and Halifax, bombers shot down and a further 10 written-off after landing, making a total of 106 aircraft lost (nearly 700 men killed or missing) and resulted in one pilot being awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. In addition, Nuremberg suffered comparatively light damage and the raid has since come to be seen by historians as a comparative failure.

John Nichol focuses on the human angle of the story and brings his insightful and empathetic skills to bear with interviews of the very last survivors of this raid (who are all in their late 80s and 90s). He finally tells their story of this most terrible night in Bomber Command′s history.

Author John Nichol is a former RAF flight lieutenant whose Tornado bomber was shot down on a mission over Iraq during the First Gulf War in 1991. He was captured and made Prisoner of War.

Soft cover, 352 pages.

The red line