Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain

Finest Hour The Battle of Britain Sixty years ago Europe lay at the feet of Adolf Hitler In a series of whirlwind campaigns between September and June Germany defeated Poland Belgium Denmark Norway Luxembourg the Neth

  • Title: Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain
  • Author: Tim Clayton Phil Craig
  • ISBN: 9780684869308
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Sixty years ago, Europe lay at the feet of Adolf Hitler In a series of whirlwind campaigns between September 1939 and June 1940, Germany defeated Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France It had signed a treaty with the Soviet Union, driven the British Expeditionary Force off the continent of Europe at Dunkirk, and stood poised to invade GSixty years ago, Europe lay at the feet of Adolf Hitler In a series of whirlwind campaigns between September 1939 and June 1940, Germany defeated Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France It had signed a treaty with the Soviet Union, driven the British Expeditionary Force off the continent of Europe at Dunkirk, and stood poised to invade Great Britain, the only remaining belligerent Standing between Hitler and world domination was the just elected prime minister, Winston Churchilld a few thousand pilots in the Royal Air Force s Fighter Command Defeat seemed inevitable instead, a legend was born Taking its readers on a breathtaking journey from open lifeboats in North Atlantic gales to the cockpits of burning fighter planes, Finest Hour recreates the tensions and uncertainties of the events of 1940 months when the fate of the world truly did hang in the balance It is a powerful account, told through the voices, diaries, letters, and memoirs of the men and women who lived and loved, fought and died during that terrible yet ultimately triumphant year The personal stories of these soldiers and airmen, diplomats and politicians, journalists and spies are combined with a fresh and often controversial account of the swirling political intrigues and betrayals of the period Here are President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ambassador Joseph Kennedy journalists Edward R Murrow and Whitelaw Reid Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King and French Premier Paul Reynaud Here are the Royal Navy s assault on the French fleet, the hushed up catastrophe of the SS Lancastria, America s secret plans to cope with the expected defeat of Britain,and Winston Churchill s indomitable determination to bring the New World to the rescue of the Old.A testament to a year when a nation s darkest hour became its finest, a work that blends original historical research with the experiences of ordinary people living in desperate times, Finest Hour is a singular achievement, an indispensable contribution to the literature of World War II.

    One thought on “Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain”

    1. It has been a long time since I have read anything on a WWII topic that I enjoyed as much as I did this book. The authors have taken anecdotal experiences from a number of men and women actually involved in the Battle of Britain and have woven these precious threads into the main historical account of Britain's darkest hour. I fancied myself to be as informed as the average bear when it came to WWII historical events, but this book was a treasury of historical minutiae to which I had been totall [...]

    2. If you want to get a feeling for how desperate the situation for Great Britain was in 1940, Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain is the book for you. The scene begins in May 1940, just before the Nazis launch their blitzkrieg on Western Europe. The story will finish in November 1940. In between you will follow soldiers, sailors, fighter pilots, WAAFs and WRENS, parents, kids, politicians and many others as the war progresses. This is not a blow-by-blow accounting but a collection of many vignettes [...]

    3. This book covers the period May - November 1940 when Britain was in its most precarious position, struggling for its very survival. Through diary extracts and personal interviews (from the survivors) by both authors, you get a really tangible sense of the urgency, fear, hope and danger that the British lived with during that time. Among the people profiled in this book were: i) a British tank commander who fought against Rommel's "Ghost Division" (the 7th Panzer Division) during the spring fight [...]

    4. A fair general overview of the Battle of Britain and the events leading up to it, with some interesting parts on the lives of otherwise ordinary Britons caught up in the events, including a soldier in the Royal Tank Regiment who fought in the gallant but doomed counterattack at Arras in May 1940, a sailor onboard the ancient battleship HMS Resolution, and, most affectingly, the story of Edith Heap, a WAAF, and Denis Wissler, an RAF Hurricane pilot who she was engaged to, and who was killed in ac [...]

    5. This is not a bad book; unfortunately it's not an excellent one either. The author follows several personalities throughout the book as each person experiences the Battle of Britain (1940) in their own words. Unfortunately, in telling the individual stories, some of the overarching themes of the Battle of Britain are lost to the reader. The reader has to either know the story of the battle very well to follow the action, or the reader has to surmise from the clues given by the author as to what [...]

    6. A solid 3.5. Engaging, informative and interesting read. Wasn't prepared for Denis' death at the end. Quite a blow which really emphasizes the true cost of war and the sacrifices made by regular people.

    7. I don't normally read books like this one, but decided to pick up as a bit of recreational study before starting university last summer. That was one of the best ideas I've had!It is an eye-opener of what actually happened and from all view points. It tell the happenings in a story-like manner, and beautifully incorporates detailed witness accounts/memoirs. It is a very well planned out book.

    8. One of the best point of view books i have ever readI can't stress how this book touched me I never thought something like this could but it truly didIt is really about what happen on the ground form people that were thereIt is amazing more people should read this book it will change things if not after in time

    9. This book was a tie-in to a PBS program. I don't remember the show. Maybe I will see of I can find it on Netflix or PBS streaming. Interesting tale of the Battle of Britain hung on individual stories of people who were there - a couple of RAF pilots, a WAAF, some of the East Enders seeking shelter from the bombs, Navy and merchant marine personnel.

    10. Fascinating, horrific, inspiring, heart wrenching, joyous, and deeply respectful. Just a few words that don’t even begin to describe the stories contained in this mostly first-person account of a decisive moment in not only British, but world history.

    11. "Powerful account--in their own words--of some of the brave men and women who stood strong in the face of the imposing Nazi onslaught in 1940. Adds fuel to my own fiery desire to display such bravery, excellence, selflessness, strength and perseverance in my own daily life."

    12. I really enjoyed the style in which this book was written -- using eyewitness narratives to tell the story of history. Anyone interested in this period of World War II would enjoy reading this book.

    13. A great book about the Battle of Britain, defining part of WWII. Surprisingly easy to read. I've read this several times, as it's too easy to forget, 60 years on the sacrifice made on our behalf.

    14. Good, simple revealing read of how the war affect people. Appreciate this bit of human record left for posterity. I felt I had the privilege of being let into the intimately lives of heroes.

    15. Terrific book. The first person accounts taken from diaries and interviews really paints the various pictures that tell the story.

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