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Hurricane: Victor of the Battle of Britain Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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Hurricane: Victor of the Battle of Britain + Lancaster: The Second World War's Greatest Bomber + Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; 1st Paperback Printing edition (6 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848543417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848543416
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Superb volume . . . great merit of [his] style . . . enthralling . . .' (Literary Review)

A superb volume . . . The great merit of McKinstry's style is that he skilfully mixes the story of the machines with those of the men behind them... enthralling (Literary Review)

As with his earlier books McKinstry interweaves the engineering lore and red-tape disputes behind the aircraft's manufacturing history with first-hand descriptions of its reliability and effectiveness. The tale he has to tell is a powerful one, like the Hurricane itself but once again he has proved himself an ace at the controls (Daily Express)

'Superb' (Saul David, Daily Telegraph)

'McKinstry is brilliant at bringing to life the tales of these machines for a new generation. His book is both worthy tribute and a genuinely page-turning read' (News of the World)

Here the author does for the Hurricane what he has already done for the Spitfire, reminding us of the crucial role that the Hawker Hurricane played in the Battle of Britain...Leo McKinstry is particularly good on the 'bullish' character of Sidney Camm, the Hurricane's designer (Sunday Telegraph)

McKinstry's case is persuasive (Daily Mail)

'Those interested in the history of aviation, and the Second World War more generally, will be delighted with Leo McKinstry's latest book. This is a beautifully crafted and thoroughly researched study of the Hurricane's role . . . One particular strength of the book is that it sets the narrative of the Hurricane's development against the contextual backdrop of the era. Another is that it sheds a light on a cross section of people who were involved with its development and employment, not least its designer, Sit Sydney Camm...Hurricane is a compelling read, and has done precisely what it set out to achieve: to restore the Hurricane to its rightful place in the story of the Second World War' (BBC History)

Book Description

The biography of the aeroplane that won the Battle of Britain, for the seventieth anniversary

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Farrant on 3 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author really knows the aircraft he writes about. This book is complementary to his previous well researched publication of the 'Spitfire'.
Perhaps it is understandable that the 'Hurricane' should follow the 'Spitfire' because this is the general view. Few realise that the Hurricane was statistically the more successful of the two aircraft during the Battle of Britain, and had advantages over the Spitfire as the author stresses. Perhaps it was the development limitations in the subsequent period of the War that helped to endorse this rather biased image in the public mind.
This is a highly readable acount of the development of the aircraft and the people involved with the operations. It is essential reading for anyone who has even a mild interest in military history and particularly events in the Second World War.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on 24 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is an old saying to the effect that quantity has a quality all of its own, and this was never proved better than by the performance of the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain. While the Hurricane was slower than the Spitfire - and the German Bf109 - it was rugged, stable, and best of all, available in numbers. While the Spitfire was without a doubt the better plane, it was difficult to build and repair, while the Hurricane was comparatively easy to construct - while it looked a modern monoplane fighter, it was built in the fashion of the older planes of the early 1930's.

McKinstry follows up on his earlier studies of the Spitfire and Lancaster, subtitiling the volume "the plane that won the Battle of Britain". That assertion is at least arguably correct: without the Hurricane available in numbers, with Spitfire production lagging behind orders, the outcome in 1940 might have been different indeed. But it is also clear that 1940 was the high-water mark for the Hurri as a fighter plane": after that it was used as a ground attack plane with tank-busting cannon, bombs and rockets, and in theatres outside Europe, such as North Africa, Malta and Burma, and as a catapult plane fired off merchantmen in the mid-Atlantic with no landing strip to return to!

Most of this book is about the Battle, and the role the Hurricane played. Prior to that, its development is run through and post-1940 the story is one of decline and obsolescence, at least in the role it was designed for. There are testimonials from pilots about the reliability and sturdiness of the Hurrincane, to which many owe their life. Some pilots preferred Hurricane to Spitfire, and explain why.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Greyscribe on 18 April 2011
Format: Paperback
The story of the Hurricane has been told many times and I have read much about it but this book brings all of the background and the politics around the development of the aircraft and sets it in the context of the times. The Hurricane is always overlooked by history, undeservedly so, and this book corrects many of the myths. The book describes the relationship between all of the main players in history leading up to, and through the War. It should be read by all of those who believe that there was only one fighter in the Battle of Britain.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian on 21 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book especially at this anniversary.It moves it out of the shadow of the Spitfire.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John on 5 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'Hurricane' is repetitive and not as well researched as it should be.For example the huge role of Sir Thomas Sopwith in the inception and production of this Battle Winner, which saved our Country, is scarcely mentioned.
Likewise the practice of the controllers to 'vector' the fighters onto the SAME course as the incoming bombers is not explained; head-on meetings were the exception, while the book implies that they were normal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By VinyltoCD on 4 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
Leo McKinstry's aviation books offer possibly the most balanced view of his topics . Unlike many others they spend as much time discussing the the political, operational and manufacturing backgrounds as the do the merits of the specific plane. I learnt lots of new things here - even that Chamberlain wasn't the complete fool that propaganda of the time misled us to believe.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robtt on 7 Nov 2010
Format: Hardcover
Oh dear, having read Spitfire and Lancaster I begin to see a sameness to the authors books . Really they.and I mean all his aircraft works,lack technical detail and depth of knowledge. I did not buy the book to get a potted history of WW2 air history and a lot of padding .Not a good buy
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Peter Outrim on 6 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
excellent well written book, I thought I know a great deal about subject as its part of my hobby but there was a great deal of extra info in this book
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