Big Week: The Biggest Air Battle of World War Two

Written by James Holland
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

For the record, it was known as Operation Argument; for those who were involved it was just known as the Big Week! By mid-1943, it was obvious that an allied invasion on continental Europe was inevitable. The fighter defence was at an advantage in numbers. This advantage was limited, as the basic resources of aircraft manufacture were also limited – the Allies had to cut this down, especially before any proposed land invasion. Operation Argument was the concentration of both night and day bombing on aircraft production while fighters not only did their best to protect the waves of bombers but to single out and strike at enemy fighters. It became an air war of attrition with a limited time scale. James Holland, an experienced war historian, takes us through the lead up, the thinking behind, the week-long Argument missions and the aftermath. Giving mini-biographies of notable and some not notable figures on both sides, he draws us emotionally into the story of heroism, sacrifice, bravery and physical demand of an essential yet little-regarded battle over France and Germany.