Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany. Or at least that’s the name of the book (or one of the books) upon which HBO’s third World War II miniseries will be based.
The network has confirmed that the series is a go, and producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have acquired the rights to Donald L. Miller‘s book, which follows WWII’s Eighth Air Force, also called the Mighty Eighth.
Writes Deadline, “Based in England, the men of the ‘Mighty Eighth’ faced unprecedented physical, psychological and moral challenges.” The official synopsis of the book gives us a more detailed look at what the miniseries will likely involve:
Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured U.S. air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. In 1943, an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of surviving his tour of duty, twenty-five missions. The Eighth Air Force lost more men in the war than the U.S. Marine Corps.
HBO’s been trying to get this going for months, and now that the source material has been optioned they can finally start moving forward with making it. Guess we know what we’ll see walking away with all the miniseries Emmys in a few years time, huh?