Cogs in a Fighting Machine
While reading Len Deighton’s Bomber (1970), I was reminded of Solzhenitsyn’s line – ‘To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.’ Bomber is a novel about the area bombing of Germany during the Second World War. Targeting German cities and civilians is a part of Britain’s war that is still extremely controversial. It doesn’t fit into the heroic narrative of the Battle of Britain, the Blitz or D-Day. Almost alone among British forces, bomber crews were not issued with a campaign medal when the war ended. The debate as to whether the bombing was a necessary evil or simply just evil continues to exercise historians and writers to this day.