The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 844 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 23 hours and 25 minutes
Author James Holland
Narrator Al Murray
Whispersync for Voice Ready Release Date 30 April 2020
Publisher Penguin Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank 4,486 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
15 in Great Britain History
36 in History of Great Britain
47 in World History (Audible Books & Originals)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 28 January 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 3 January 2014

Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Very misleading title
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 February 2020
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24 people found this helpful
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A. Callow
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Narrative of the Battle that expands the usual envelope
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 January 2018
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50 people found this helpful
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Colin Carron
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history writing - clear-eyed and revealing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 July 2019
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Colin Carron
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history writing - clear-eyed and revealing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 July 2019
I grew up with the legend of the Battle of Britain where The Few stood against the massed forces of darkness - and won. Later I read that the Battle of Britain was pretty much a sideshow. James Holland's book rises above these two skewed views and presents the battle in its context of the preceding Fall of France and the evacuation from Dunkirk. About half the book is about those events leading up to the Battle of Britain. At first I wondered if this was necessary but once one meets the soldiers fighting in France, or the politicians taking crucial decisions or the ordinary people trying to go about their normal lives, then one sees the Battle of Britain as it was seen in 1940, with all the possibilities of defeat and conquest still open.

The Battle of Britain itself is presented with a wider perspective than is usual. Not only do we follow the fighter pilots into action but also the bomber crews, the generals, the politicians, the boffins like RV Jones, the minesweeping and merchant navy crews and of course the ordinary people.

All in all this is a very clear-eyed and revealing book. I really dislike history which just rehashes what has been said before and tells you nothing new. Here I felt I got a glimpse of what it would have felt like to live through those times but with the added level of seeing the mechanics of the sometimes inexplicable decisions taken by the various leaders.

James Holland in his postscript recommends standing on the second floor balcony of London's Imperial War Museum and looking across at the Spitfire suspended there. As it happens I did that a couple of years ago and I admired the plane's elegant lines and took a photo. James Holland points out that this Spitfire was flown by John Dundas during the Battle of Britain - who we have met already in the pages of the book. That comment helps me see that plane with a new understanding and appreciation. And the same can be said of this book. It gave me a deeper and clearer understanding of the Battle of Britain and the lives of those who lived through these extraordinary times.
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5 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars James Holland - a More Balanced View of WW2 Prior to the USA Entry.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 September 2017
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12 people found this helpful
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S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars The Battle of Britain
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 December 2021
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One person found this helpful
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