- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd.; 2nd impreesion edition (2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0593059131
- ISBN-13: 978-0593059135
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.9 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,244,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Battle of Britain Hardcover – 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Since the first nearly three hundred-plus pages deal with the German blitzkreig and the evacuation of the BEF from France, the title is a bit misleading but probably represents how Holland views the critical importance of not sending precious fighter squadrons to France where they would have certainly been largely destroyed.
His balanced, largely non-judgemental and occasionally humourous approach makes sense given that he is recounting events largely through the eyes of ordinary soldiers, pilots and a handful of civilians on both sides.
When he includes the actions and deliberations of the great and mighty he also makes them appear very human. Churchill, Beaverbrook and Dowding come off best, while Goering and the Luftwaffe high command (except for Milch) as pompous sycophants who seemed to ignore or were uninterested in what was actually happening on the ground and in the air.
The strengths of the book are Holland's clear and lively prose, his tieing of personal anecdotes to the main time-line, his detailed grasp of both sides planes and fighter tactics and the inclusion of a number of very informative maps. Given the lengthy bibliography and Holland's mastery of his sources, an annotated bibliography would have been very useful.
Overall the book is an excellent introduction to the initial critical events of the war.
The interesting thing that this book brings out is exactly that - the Germans failed, not that the British succeeded. As the Duke of Wellington said at Waterloo, it was a "damned close-run thing". The British survived, and that's all, but it was enough. All the cards were apparently in German hands. They had a big air force. In the Messerschmitt 109 they had the best fighter in the world, one that bested the early model of Reginald Mitchell's gorgeous Spitfire in nearly every department. And they were often flown by people such as Adolf Galland, hardened combat veterans of the Condor Legion in Spain. However, they were handicapped by being forced to use the wrong tactics, and by the facts that they had only a few minutes over the target and that every pilot shot down over England was a pilot lost, whereas an RAF flyer, if uninjured, was ready to fly again.
The British made up for their deficiencies in equipment and experience by being better organised and knowing exactly what they had to do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More than I expected.Much detail including German preparations for invasion of France leading up to the Battle of Britain.Published 1 month ago by Jerome Silverman
If you have not read this book, you have no idea how the Battle of Britain actually happened. You get actual records of both German and British unit reports. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ralph Grunz
Probably one of the best books I've read about flying fighter planes during WWII. Very well written.Published 3 months ago by pat roberts
The personal stories, and the even-handed portrayal of the British and German sides really bring to story to life. Very enjoyable read!Published 5 months ago by Paul Kogan
Good background leading up to and during the Battle of Britain.Published 6 months ago by Richard McGregor
This is NOT a stuffy historical reference that just reels off lists of dates and numbers with lots of military jargon. Read morePublished 7 months ago by A B Calder
Very factual and very detailed. Excellent book for those interested in this portion of history.Published 9 months ago by Guy