A HEROIC World War Two veteran has defended the Bomber Command after a German historian fired an attack on the British organisation in a new book.

The tome, called The Fire, by Jorg Friedrich, is a fierce critique of the controversial British bombing offensive against Germany.

The historian criticised Bomber Command for the 1943 raid of the Ruhr and the attacks on Dresden in 1945, saying the ferocity was unnecessary.

However, Flight Lieutenant Max Chivers, 86, who is the president of the Flackwell Heath Royal British Legion, disagreed with the author's report.

He said: "They started it by bombing London so our aim was to bomb factories and half were in towns so people were going to get hurt.

"They can't complain we gave them a good hiding. It was pure retaliation and they didn't like the fact we did it bigger and better."

Mr Chivers was honoured with a distinguished flying cross (DFC) in April 1943 after landing a Lancaster bomber in the Bay of Biscay.

He was forced to land the bomber after the fuel ran out and the crew of seven stayed on a dinghy for three days until the navy picked them up.

Mr Chivers has lived in Northcroft, Wooburn Green, since 1989. He met Bomber Command commander-in-chief Sir Arthur Harris once after the war. Sir Arthur lived in Goring on Thames and was made the 1st Baronet of Chipping Wycombe.

Mr Chivers lives with his wife, Peggy, 85, and has 11 great grandchildren and six grandchildren.

But war hero Mr Chivers praised Sir Arthur for leading the campaign and believes it helped bring the war to a quicker conclusion.

"Arthur Harris was our boss and he did a bloody good job. The Labour Government agreed with the Germans after the war by saying we were wicked to bomb Dresden. But we lost about 55,000 aircrew out of roughly 115,000.

"Everyone was recognised except for the Bomber Command. But if there had been no Bomber Command the war would have gone on for two or three more years."