Bomber Command: Celebrating 60 Years

28/10/2002
  |  Buy to Own: 28/10/2002
  |  113 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Sir Michael Beetham, Marshal of the RAF, introduces this two part commemoration to the airmen who fought and died during the air battles of World War 2 - their average life expectancy as a operational pilot was only 30 days. 'Reaping the Whirlwind' is a look at the controversial wartime effort of Bomber Command under Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris. During the Second World War 55,000 men gave their lives on missions above occupied Europe, an effort that is sometimes overshadowed by historians questioning both the effectiveness and morality of the bombing offensive on Germany. New, recently discovered interviews with Harris, along with reflections of former aircrew, lift the lid on the real reasons why the German cities were bombed, and why the raids really did help crush Nazi war production. There is also footage of successful precision raids including the Dam Busters mission, the sinking of the Tipitz and the attack on the Nazi rocket base at Peenemunde. Whilst 'Enemy Coast Ahead' uses original footage from the bombing raids (cameras were mounted in the aircraft), behind-the-scenes footage portraying the day-to-day life of the pilots, and aircrew training films, to create a tribute to the men both of and behind RAF Bomber Command. Also included is the complete Movietone News Special from August 1942 'No Part of the Reich is Safe' about the new weapon of the Command: the Lancaster.

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