Bridgebusters by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Bridgebusters by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy through Edelweiss.

Bridgebusters is the story of the 57th Bomb Wing, whose primary claim to fame was that they were the inspiration for Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22. Flying B-25 Mitchell medium bomber/attack aircraft during the Second World War in African and European theaters, Bridgebusters takes you inside the planes, and inside the heads of the air crews who flew them.

There are a great many stories which are still emerging from the fog of war, and I was really hoping that this book would give me some different insight into the world of the bomber pilots. And to some extent it did, conveying the personal struggles – psychological and physical – they went through in fighting the war.

I guess if there could be one criticism of the book, it is that it lacks a certain amount of coherent thread to string the whole thing together. I get that the book hangs its hat on the connection with Catch-22, but I would have liked more of a personal insight and stories of the other individuals involved. The author is at his best when he is describing the action – told from both sides of the story – and the tension involved.

All in all, Bridgebusters is an interesting addition to the literature on World War 2.

3.5 stars

Bridgebusters by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Bridgebusters by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

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