By mid-1940 the only way for Britain to take the war to the enemy homeland was through the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command. By 1945, the Command had helped deliver Allied victory, but at what cost? 55,573 of its aircrew were dead, over 8,000 were injured, hundreds of thousands of civilians had perished in Axis (enemy) and Allied bombing raids, and cities across Europe were in ruins.
From an unpromising start, volunteer Bomber Command aircrew faced a nightly battle to complete their assigned raids. Developments in technology and tactics helped increase their chances of survival. With increasing precision, the Command’s attacks on German industrial centres reduced the production of arms, ammunition, material and fuel, almost certainly shortening the war.