In 1943 the RAF began a bombing campaign against Germany, the like of which had never before been seen. Over the next twelve months, tens of thousands of aircrews flew across the North Sea to drop their bombs on German cities. They were opposed not only by the full force of the Luftwaffe, but by a nightmare of flak, treacherously icy conditions, and constant mechanical malfunction. Most of these crews never finished their tour of operations but were either shot down and killed, or taken prisoner by an increasingly hostile enemy. when it was widely believed that the Allies could win the Second World War by bombing alone. Kevin Wilson has interviewed hundreds of former airmen about what their lives were like in 1943: the stomach-churning tension of flying repeatedly over hostile territory, the terror at being shot down or captured, and the peculiar mixture of guilt and pride at unleashing such devastation on Germany. Their stories are woven together here to form a comprehensive and gripping account of what it was like to be an airman at the height of the bomber war.