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Blitz: The Story of 29th December 1940 Hardcover – 29 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition edition (29 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057121794X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571217946
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 944,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A first-rate work of popular history, 'Blitz' is a tribute to the ordinary Britons who found within themselves extraordinary courage.' -- Yorkshire Post

'An enormously exciting read . . . Gaskin conveys the full drama of that day with a frequently nail-biting, tick-tock narrative.' -- Sunday Herald

'Horror and heroism . . . As an epic of historical reconstruction, it is deftly done.' -- The Times

'London's Blitz was a triumph of grim determination and jocular defiance, and Gaskin does it full and subtle justice.' -- Sunday Times

'The careful mining of a rich vein of memoirs and diaries . . . give real value to the account.' -- Daily Telegraph

Book Description

Blitz: The Story of 29 December 1940 by Margaret Gaskin is a stunningly vivid and immediate work of historical storytelling, telling the true story of 'the second great fire of London.'

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. H. Ryland on 18 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found this book compelling. Having just visited the USA, where I visited the Winston Churchill Museum and Library in Fulton Missouri (where they have rebuilt one of the many Wren designed churches bombed on 29th December 1940), I wanted to understand more about that night. The book is a detailed minute by minute record of the bombing with many accounts of what happened to the people involved. I found it a gripping read and read it at a single sitting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Blitz by Margaret Gaskin is the story of one night of the London Blitz and it's a story inspired by one of the most famous pictures of the war, that of a defiant St Paul's emerging from the smoke of a city in flames.

The early chapters of this book paint a picture of London as it was in those last few hours before the raid. The city was ancient and steeped in history, it was a city of medieval guilds, Georgian mansions and Victorian bureaucracy that sat at the heart of an Empire. It was a city that was old, immutable, rooted in history and in tradition. It was a hub of business, industry and commerce. And for all these reasons and more, it lay indefensible in the face of Nazi night bombing raids.

After six months of the Blitz, and victory in the Battle of Britain, most Londoners had learned to `just get on with it'. It has become a cliche but a cup of tea really was viewed as the universal panacea for all ills. It also helped that most Londoners were also just a little bit crazy. Reaction to the Blitz - even in the darkest hour - ranged from the typically British `not to bad' to ` mustn't grumble' !

Britain stood alone with the tide of war raging around it. It had seen off invasion - just - but now Hitler was intent on wearing down the British in an all out war of attrition. The Luftwaffe - having failed to take control of the air during the day - were intent on making the night their hunting ground. The X-Verfahren (X-System) was a new guidance technique which used highly focused beams of radio waves to enable suitably equipped aircraft to navigate in the pitch black of night, and hit targets with incredible accuracy.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Harvey on 23 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book falls into two parts. The first half discusses the progress of the first fifteen months of the war and is heavy going. The author has a very meandering, discursive style of writing which makes reading this first section difficult and I question the need to devote so much time and space to some well trodden material. The second half of the book deals with the events of the night of 29 December 1940 and is more interesting. One really gets a sense of being there. I happened to be in the Moorgate/Barbican area of London only days after reading this book and I noticed a new office block had gone up. I guess we're still building on the razed sites.
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