"This is London.
Last night, some of the young gentlemen of the RAF took me to
Berlin. The pilot was called Jock [Abercrombie]."
"The crew captains
walked into the briefing room, looked at the maps and charts, and
sat down with their big celluloid pads on their knees. The
atmosphere was that of a school and a church. The weatherman gave us
the weather. The pilots were reminded that Berlin is Germany's
greatest center of war production."
intelligence officer told us how many heavy and light
ack-ack guns, how
many searchlights we might expect to encounter...concentration
was the secret of success in these raids; that as long as the aircraft
stayed well-bunched, they would protect each other."
"The takeoff was smooth as
silk. The wheels came up, and D-Dog started the long climb. As we came
up through the clouds, I looked right and left and counted fourteen
Lancasters climbing for the place where men must burn oxygen to
live. The sun was going down and its red glow made rivers of lakes of
fire on tops of the clouds. Down to the southward, the clouds piled
up to form castles, battlements, and whole cities, all tinged with red."
"Berlin was a kind of
orchestrated hell -- a terrible symphony of light and flame. It
isn't a pleasant kind of warfare. The men doing it speak of it as a
job. Yesterday afternoon, when the tapes were stretched out on the
big map all the way to Berlin and back again, a young pilot with old
eyes said to me, 'I see we're working again tonight.' That's the
frame of mind in which the job is being done."