The Battle of Britain Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/14/2012
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

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The Battle of Britain was a crucial turning point in the history of the WWII. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. The German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940 was unlike any the world had ever seen, hitting with unstoppable force. In just a few short weeks, all had crumbled under the force of the Nazi hammer blow. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could survive. Soon, it seemed, Hitler would have Europe at his feet. But thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the mounting collective defiance led by a new Prime Minister, Britain was not ready to roll over just yet. 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, The Battle of Britain tells this epic story from all sides. Drawing on extensive new research from around the world, it paints a complete picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread.

Author Biography

James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. A member of the British Commission for Military History and the Guild of Battlefield Guides, he also regularly contributes reviews and articles in national newspapers and magazines. He is the author of Italy's Sorrow: A Year of War, 1944-1945; Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege, 1940-1943; Together We Stand: North Africa 1942-1943 – Turning the Tide in the West; and Heroes: The Greatest Generation and the Second World War. His many interviews with veterans of the Second World War are available at the Imperial War Museum. James Holland is married with two children and lives in Wiltshire.

Table of Contents

"This massive volume is informative, enthralling, and moving--often all three at once...Genuinely brilliant."--Booklist
"Thoroughly researched yet written in a relaxed, enjoyable style."--History Book Review
“…Holland is a young historian who has forged a considerable reputation, especially for his intimate human portraits of the men who fought on both sides of the war…this is a notable account of an epic human experience, told with the informality and enthusiasm that distinguish Holland’s work…If the story is familiar, Holland tells it with authority and exuberant panache.”--Max Hastings, author of Winston’s War, in The Sunday Times UK
The 70th anniversary of the battle…has prompted a surge of new books and the republication of several old ones. Among the best is the comprehensive new study by James Holland… Holland’s book has all the hallmarks of his previous successes: the gripping narrative; the ability to recreate the intensity of combat, the breadth of research; and the authoritative historical judgments.”--The Spectator UK
“The novelty of Holland’s excellent book…lies in its extended time frame, and also in its use of first-hand sources from both sides of the conflict, and its assertion that the battle was not won by the RAF alone. Holland prefers his history to be about people, and his dazzling cast of characters includes civilians and servicemen, men and women, young and old.”--The Telegraph UK

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