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We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Close this message to accept cookies or find out how to manage your cookie settings. In the preface to the edition to his novel, The War in the Air , H.

‘Foreshadows and Repercussions’: Histories of Air War and the Recasting of Cities and Citizens

The books discussed here illustrate how, in the few intervening decades, air war moved from a fearful vision into reality, and detail the varied experiences and consequences of the aerial bombardment of cities and civilians. The histories of air power and the aerial bombardment of cities have centred on the Second World War, moving from the humanising endurance of Londoners during the Blitz to the entirely dehumanised horror of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The texts reviewed here extend the histories of air war and highlight the city and the home as a target for bombing while remaining the place where people carried on their daily lives.

Table of contents

Modernism, Bombsites and British Culture Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , , Longman , , Smith , Malcolm , Britain and History, Myth and Popular Memory London: Pimlico , ; For Hiroshima see Messer , R. Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , , — Cambridge University Press , A book that does engage with the urban aspects of modern war is Marcus Funck and Chickering , Roger , Endangered Cities: For a historical geography extending back before the twentieth century see Ashworth , G.

Ashgate , , 4.

Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe Claudia Baldoli: Continuum

Oxford University Press , Rugg , Linda H. The purpose of this project is to put the Blitz into a broader comparative framework by examining the political and cultural effects of bombing during the Second World War in Germany, France and Italy, as well as in Britain.

(02) Why We Fight: "Divide and Conquer" (ca. 1943) 2/6

The research is designed to test common assumptions about political solidarity, strong morale and a popular determination to win the war, which the conventional image still sustains. In France and Italy, for example, bombing was chiefly carried out by the same forces against the people that they were promising to liberate, resulting in ambivalent and confused responses.


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The emphasis of the project is on the political and cultural responses to bombing - on ideas, attitudes and language, rather than the social and economic effects or strategic consequences. This is an area of the bombing experience that has been much less closely studied, and almost never directly compared. It opens up new ways of looking at the relationship between state and population and the willingness of populations to endorse or understand the conflict in which they are involved.


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  • About Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945.

The originality of this project lies in the choice of perspective and the comparative framework. This is part of the shared history of Western Europe during the war. The research will explore the variety of political and cultural responses to the e xperience in four different ways:. This is an ambitious and innovate project whose conclusions will help to produce a clear understanding of the behaviour of bombed communities in recent contemporary conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan.