We’re pleased to announce that Operation Thunderclap and the Black March is now available from Casemate!
In this new release, author Richard Allison describes two different aspects of the air war over Europe in World War II – Operation Thunderclap and The Black March – through the eyes of two B-17 crew members. Both crew members, one a co-pilot and the other a gunner, trained together in Mississippi until they were assigned to the 91st Bomb Group in England. Assigned to separate missions during World War II, this book explores both of their stories, one of continuous air combat and the other of capture and life on the ground..
To learn more about this new release, we talked with author Richard Allison about his book:
Why did you write this book?
I wanted to learn about the air war in Europe and I happened to have a trust client who flew combat missions. I had previously written accounts of my own family members experiences in the military, and as my retirement date at the bank approached I asked my client (who by then had become a friend) if I could interview him and do a book about what he experienced during WWII. He said yes, and prior to the first of several tape-recorded sessions, he furnished me with a large box of documents that he had saved and not looked at since 1943-45. When I began putting these documents in chronological order and reading a few of the letters, I got excited – I sensed I had been given a war history treasure chest.
Someone recently asked me if my long experience as a bank personal trust officer helped me in my second career as a writer? I responded yes, it did, as it introduced me to members of The Greatest Generation. I had a number of trust clients, my pilot friend among them, who grew up in affluent circumstances. These clients believed in America and fought alongside everyone else to defend her. I wrote this book as a tribute to my trust clients and all others who served in WWII. They had the wisdom to recognize evil and the physical courage to confront it.
What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?
I’d prefer to let the reader decide, but if I must, I offer this as an answer: my book presents both “micro and macro” viewpoints. It juxtapositions the very small – the implication, for instance, of the European Theatre of Operations Male Officers’ Uniform, Clothing & Accessory Card in regard to rationing – with the very large – the meaning of the Yalta condition: “Hostile propaganda directed against the contracting parties or against any of the United Nations will not be permitted.” On one level my book is war story action thriller with B-17s and Tiger tanks, etc., and on another, something completely different – an analysis of how 1945 – a critical year in 20th century history — unfolded in Europe on the international level and with such tragic results.
My book also tells the USAAF story through simultaneous eyewitness accounts: what happened in the air over Germany and on the ground.
Finally my book touches on issues existing today: the role of the chaplain corps in the military, how the military medical corps approaches the subject of combat related stress, censorship and – on the periphery — what constitutes a moral war.
Operation Thunderclap and the Black March is also available as an eBook, which you can purchase from the following retailers:
**Download a sample chapter from this great new book here.**