The Lancaster Bomber

I was thrilled to be joined again by one of our most popular guests, John Nichol. John shot to international prominence when he served in the first Gulf War. When his Tornado was shot down in 1991 he was captured, tortured and paraded on television provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the enduring images of that war. Since then, John has become one of our most successful aviation historians, writing bestsellers such as 'Spitfire – A Very British Love Story'. His latest book explores the Avro Lancaster - described by Bomber Harris as his 'shining sword' and the 'greatest single factor in winning the war'. Carrying out offensive operations from the first day of the Second World War until the very last - more than five and a half years later - they flew nearly 300,000 sorties and dropped around a million tons of explosives. Of the 7,377 Lancasters built during the conflict, more than half were lost to enemy action or training accidents, and of the 125,000 men who served in Bomber Command, over 55,000 were killed. The figures are remarkable. But John also took me behind the statistics to uncover the human stories - truly unbelievable accounts of survival.

Subscribe to History Hit and you'll get access to hundreds of history documentaries, as well as every single episode of this podcast from the beginning (400 extra episodes). We're running live podcasts on Zoom, we've got weekly quizzes where you can win prizes, and exclusive subscriber only articles. It's the ultimate history package. Just go to to subscribe. Use code 'pod1' at checkout for your first month free and the following month for just £/€/$1.


See for privacy and opt-out information.