Death by Moonlight: Bomber Command

This feature-length documentary focuses on the Canadian pilots who served in the air force bomber command in Britain during World War II. From the outset, it was clear to Britain that air combat would be the key factor in the battle against Hitler's Germany. Told they would be targeting factories and military targets, the airmen were actually ordered to drop their payloads on civilians in an attempt to annihilate the enemy. Using interviews, re-enactments, old footage and photographs, Brian McKenna's film depicts the war from the perspective of the pilots.

This film contains scenes of violence. Viewer discretion is advised.

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Brian McKenna
Arnie Gelbart
André Lamy
Adam Symansky
Darce Fardy
associate producer
D'Arcy O'Connor
Terence McKenna
Brian McKenna
Neville Ottey
Andrew Binnington
Ian Challis
Robert Jones
Susan Shanks
sound editing
Bill Graziadei
Bernard Bordeleau
Adrian Croll
Terence McKenna
Graham Campbell
Gilbert Turp
Nicholas Shields
Janne Mortil
Hamish McEwan
Andrew Gillies
Mark Burgess
Patric Creeman
Duncan Ollerenshaw
Joel Wyner


  • GerhardGehrmann

    “I don't understand how this movie slanders Canadians fighting in the war. It paints those in charge as acting in ways that lack honour. The crime is on those who order evil, and hide the true intentions of their actions. The aircrew had no real way of know what and who they were bombing. The admirals, generals, air marshals, and prime ministers certainly did. ” — GerhardGehrmann, 1 Apr 2014

  • srcushing

    “This film is a horrible travesty. It works hard to make these men look like baby killers and murderers. My Grandfather (who I knew for 42 years and was able to tell me his stories) was a tail gunner in a Halilfax and survived over 40 missions most over Germany. These men were doing a job. They were doing a job that they felt they had to do for a cause that was right. Yes many German civilians died. But before bomber command even did its first serious raid on Germany, the Germans had firebombed, Gurnicia Spain, Warsaw Poland, Rotterdam Netherlands (after the Dutch had surrendered) and Coventry UK. Woman and children died in those cities as well but the documentry does not focus on this. A German civilian was quoted after the Dresden bombing to say "we had this coming to us" You never hear the Germans disparage bomber command the way the allies do. They understood. The Nazis were a democratically elected government, the German people had a choice and they chose the way of war. The men of bomber command were there to right the wrongs regardless of the cost. In the end Germany lost 6 million people, the Soviets lost 22 million mostly civilians killed by German soldiers. I agree with Lanky the McKennas are a disgrace to film making. Each one of the men and women should be hounered for their role in winning the war, not with this horrible piece of crap. ” — srcushing, 29 Dec 2013

  • threadbear

    “I don’t think this film dishonours our Canadian veterans, I think it shows how war is simply outrageous and outrageously horrible to be caught up in. A great uncle I never met was a Lancaster navigator. His aircraft was flacked over Germany, and his pilot fought courageously to get that craft back to base, but they crashed into the English Channel. All the crew are buried in Holland. My other great uncle armed the Lancasters. According to my grandmother, he was never the same after the war because he knew what he was doing. He used to talk about all his friends who ‘got the chop.’ They were all heroes to me in absentia. If I was able to meet Mr. Harvey and Mr. Brown I would give them great big hugs for having the courage to face the people who survived their bombs, for doing another very tough job for us, and for representing themselves and Canadians to them in person as honourable, compassionate people. Long after the war, they, once again, proved themselves to be among our greatest heroes. God bless them all.” — threadbear, 30 Aug 2012

  • Wow456

    “One thing I like about this documentary it shows a side of Canadian Military History that is rarely shown to the public . I would like to give thanks to the National Film Broad having this available to the public .” — Wow456, 27 Jun 2011

  • antjay

    “I almost wish i were a religious man , at least then i could have some confidence that Hitler, Himler , Harris and Le May were sharing the hottest corner in hell .The young WRAF said it best "why do we not talk more about the saddness of war". ” — antjay, 7 Jan 2011

  • “this film is a typical product from those who never served in the armed forces of their country. It is full of non sequitors an just deliberate distortions. The McKennas likely were using drugs as they admittedly did a few years later as they pursued 2012 end of the world. Brian being now dead the best of British luck to Dennis and may he experience the same pain he brought to so many honourable RCAF veterans” — lanky, 25 Apr 2010

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