The Red Line: The Gripping Account of the RAF's Bloodiest Raid on Hitler's Germany

Author(s): John Nicol


A gripping account of the disastrous 10,000 bomber raid on Hitler's lair, told for the first and final time. In March 1944 - as part of Bomber Command's 'Battle of Berlin' to decimate Hitler's capital city - the RAF attacked the spiritual home of the Nazi Party - Nuremberg. The raid that began on the evening of 30 March 1944 was a run-of-the-mill operation for the by then 'Thousand-Bomber' raids the RAF and United States Air Force were undertaking every week - as would be seen with Dresden's destruction in late 1944. 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. This new book would tell the human story of this disaster. John will look into the archives to research official reports on what went wrong with the operation, and how the RAF reacted to it. He will also look at the air crews debriefing notes as to their first-hand accounts of the disaster and why they feel it was ill-timed and the Germans were waiting for them. But, the main crux of the book is the human angle and Nichol 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) to finally tell the true story of this most terrible night in Bomber Command's history.


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Product Information

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 a prisoner of war. He is the bestselling co-author of Tornado Down and also The Last Escape, and Tail-end Charlies. He is also a journalist and widely quoted military commentator.

General Fields

  • : 9780007486847
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : Collins
  • : April 2013
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Nicol
  • : Paperback
  • : 513
  • : 940.544941
  • : 352
  • : (2x8pp plates)