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If Britain Had Fallen Paperback – 1 Jun 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books; New edition edition (1 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853675997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853675997
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 722,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Longmate tackles the age-old 'what if' on this thought provoking, thrilling account of one of history's darkest episodes. - Military History Monthly This book will apeal to those who are fascinated by the whole Nazi era and what it might have meant for the UK. This was the grand-daddy of the type and is still very good indeed. - Military Modelling International --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

If Britain Had Fallen covers every phase of the subject, from the German pre-invasion manoeuvring and preparations, the landing of troops, to the German seizure of power. What follows is a fascinating contemplation of what it would have been like to live day to day under German occupation, creating a new reality that is thoroughly believable and thus all the more frightening. Would America, Canada or Australia come to the rescue? Would the British people have come to accept the occupation? Would the deportation of friends, the flying of the swastika from Buckingham Palace incite passive compliance, or brave resistance? All these questions and more are explored to their full in this thought provoking and chilling book. This is a classic book, with fresh material from Norman Longmate.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an absorbing and chilling alternative history, a look at what Britain might have been like and how British people might have behaved if the Nazis had conquered the country. Its grounding in historical reality is what gives it an added edge - the first four chapters detail established historical events; only then does history change and fiction., albeit logically extrapolated, take over when the Nazis concentrate their firepower on destroying our radar stations and airbases rather than bombing our civilian cities, thereby removing the RAF from the equation. From then on, the Nazis have the upper hand, helped on by a dose of good fortune, and the Nazis conquer the south east and take London, Churchill bravely dying in a hail of bullets in the process. The remainder of the book details what might well have happened in an occupied Britain, based largely on what happened in the Channel Islands as the only part of the British Crown under enemy occupation (though with some differences to allow for the different sizes and populations, etc) and partly on what happened in other occupied countries. The result is a chilling depiction of what might have been, especially if the Nazis had carried out their threat to deport all British males between the ages of 17 and 45 (though it should be added they did not do this in any other occupied country, and only threatened to carry it out in the Channel Islands if the Islanders did not behave, instead deporting only those Islanders not born there). Well worth a read and very thought provoking; how thin are the margins between freedom and occupation - thank God for those radars and those pilots!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JA Fairhurst on 9 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
The basic principal behind this book is to explore what might have happened if the German army had invaded in 1940.
The book is split into three parts, the first details the background of the situation as it was in the early summer and the plans the government was making to repel a potential invasion. We also see what preparations the Germans were making and how their plans shifted from an invasion along the East Coast to an invasion along the whole South Coast then down to the Essex/Kent coastal region.
In the middle section we have the most speculative part of the book, covering the invasion itself. By the nature of the book, Mr. Longmate has the Germans winning a substantial victory, with the RAF destroyed and most of the Royal Navy home fleet sunk. When operation Sealion is brought up on the soc.hist.what-if newsgroup the concensus of opinion is that if it had been attempted it would have failed horribly. The Royal Family had fled to the Bahamas (not Canada - the Canadian government could not accept having their king actually in the same country and it wouldn't have gone down well with their powerful neighbour to the south).
Despite Hitler's desire to take Churchill prisoner, Winnie and General Brooke went down fighting leaving no one to offer their surrender to the Germans. There is a rather stirring description of the Royal Family's retreat to exile, making one realise how much more patriotic the whole nation was then.
Although hardly less speculative in the specific detail, the final section of the book looks at how Britain would have felt under Nazi rule based on what happened in other occupied countries, in particular the Channel Islands.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'If Britain had fallen' is a study in alternate history; namely, what would have happened had the war taken a different turn and the Nazis invaded the UK. The book is divided into two parts.
The first deals with a fictional scenario concerning the invasion - how the Battle of Britain was lost, the Royal Navy was unable to deny use of the Channel to the Germans, and the subsequent land invasion. If you watched and enjoyed the recent TV show 'The Real Dad's Army' you will find this extremely interesting as the content is very similar.
The second part is a study of what the German occupation would have been like. This is essentially an extrapolation from real history, based on knowledge of what happened both on the Channel Islands and Mainland Europe. Its is slightly dry in places but very informative.
In general, I thought this was an excellent book; it covers the subject in depth without getting bogged down in tiny details. Some parts of the 'story' Longmate invents, such as Churchill's last stand, are really quite emotive. It is only recently that the real "What if..." story can be fully told as some of the material relating to the county's defence remained classified for a long time. Also to many people who lived through those times, it was still almost heresy to suggest that we could ever have lost. Now that time has passed the subject can be examined more objectively.
In summary I thoroughly recommend it - it is a frightening look at how things could have happened. Although the war took a terrible toll on Britain, this book serves as a reminder that it could have been far worse. War is often remembered through geography, in place names telling us where battles were fought and atrocities committed. Think how different it would feel today if those names had been on British soil.
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