'If Hitler fails to invade or destroy Britain, he has lost the war,' Churchill said in the summer of 1940. 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 counter and 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 seemed, while her 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 RAF, 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 summer – a time in which the fate of the world truly hung by a thread.
Stanley Hooker joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1949 and tugged a rather reluctant company into the jet age, determined to give real competition to Rolls-Royce. So successful was he that in 1966 Rolls-Royce decided the best thing to do was to spend 63.6 million pounds and buy its rival. By this time there was scarcely a single modern British aero-engine for which Hooker had not been responsible.
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Beginning in 1942, the Eighth Air Force began a precision bombing raid offensive deep into Nazi Germany, embarking from bases in rural England. Nearly 350,000 Americans were transplanted to English soil, joining their British colleagues for this joint Allied offensive. For many it was a period of great risk, and arguably the greatest adventure of their lives.
With Wings As Eagles celebrates the heroics of these pilots and their missions. A lavishly illustrated, full-color, hardcover original, the narrative is the result of the author’s exclusive interviews with many of the pilots and crew, as well as research from contemporary diaries, journals, and scrapbooks. Readers relive the nostalgia and vivid reminiscences of days of seemingly endless boredom and fatigue, the loneliness of soaring in an aluminum cocoon four miles over an intended target, and a surprising account of parachuting onto German soil and being captured by women and children.
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Stephen Bungay's magisterial history is acclaimed as the account of the Battle of Britain.
Unrivalled for its synthesis of all previous historical accounts, for the quality of its strategic analysis and its truly compulsive narrative, this is a book ultimately distinguished by its conclusions – that it was the British in the Battle who displayed all the virtues of efficiency, organisation and even ruthlessness we habitually attribute to the Germans, and they who fell short in their amateurism, ill-preparedness, poor engineering and even in their old-fashioned notions of gallantry.
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“[With Wings Like Eagles is] bold and refreshing… Korda writes with great elegance and flair.”—Wall Street Journal
From the New York Times bestselling author of Ike and Horse People, Michael Korda, comes With Wings Like Eagles, the harrowing story of The Battle of Britain, one of the most important battles of World War II. In the words of the Washington Post Book World, “With Wings Like Eagles is a skillful, absorbing, often moving contribution to the popular understanding of one of the few episodes in history … to deserve the description ‘heroic.’”