“The crew of a stricken aircraft had a one-in-five chance of escaping alive. Fighting the G-forces of a diving or spiraling, uncontrollable descent, they had to ditch the hatches, reach their parachutes and somehow struggle clear before the bomber struck the ground. They tried desperately to avoid baling out in the immediate target area, for they had heard too many stories of bomber crews killed by enraged civilians or soldiers, a fate not unknown to Luftwaffe airmen in the London blitz.” – Max Hastings, Bomber Command

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