The Battle Of Britain

The Battle Of Britain

Five Months That Changed History, May-October 1940

Book - 2011
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"If Hitler fails to invade or destroy Britain, he has lost the war, " Churchill said in the summer of 194o. He was right. The Battle of Britain was a crucial turning point in the history of the Second World War, and now, acclaimed British historian James Holland has written the definitive account of this battle based on extensive new research from around the world, including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the fighting. --
Had Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe and been able to turn his full attention east to the Soviet Union. The German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940 was unlike any the world had ever seen. It hit with a force and aggression that no one could counterùand in just a few short weeks. All in their way crumbled under the force of the Nazi hammer blow. With France facing defeat and with British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could possibly survive. Soon, it seemed, Hitler would have all of Europe at his feet. Yet Hitler's forces were not quite the Goliath they at first appeared to be and Germany's leadership lacked the single-minded purpose, vision, and direction that had led to such success on land. Nor was Britain any David. Thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy as well as the mounting sense of collective defiance led by a new prime minister, Britain was not ready to give in to the Nazi onslaught. --
From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, and from the slaughter by the U-boats in the icy Atlantic to the dramatic aerial battles over England, James Holland's The Battle of Britain paints a complete picture of that extraordinary summerùa time in which the fate of the world truly hung by a thread. --Book Jacket.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2011.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312675004
0312675003
Characteristics: 677 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm.

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Norman C. Smith
Nov 23, 2013

This is an excellent history of the Battle of Britain. In addition to descriptions of the air combat, Holland also provides insight into the command and control structures, the manufacturing and repair of aircraft, the morale of the flyers, and more; this is a well-rounded history. In addition, he puts it into the context of the naval war, and at the beginning of the book, the ground war in France. I would have liked a bit more of a summing-up at the end, but we all know how the Battle of Britain turned out anyway, so that's not a big issue. Highly recommended!

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