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Park: The Biography of Air Chief Marshall Sir Keith Park, GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL Paperback – 28 Apr 2000


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Park: The Biography of Air Chief Marshall Sir Keith Park, GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL + Dowding of Fighter Command + The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grub Street; New edition edition (28 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902304616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902304618
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Lalor on 14 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story of Keith Park's life is a truly remarkable journey through the 1930s to his death in the 1970s. His unfailing steadfastness, professionalism and expertise halted the Nazi rampage over Western Europe. His ability to "get it right first time" was uncanny, his sector felt the brunt of the German air assault in 1940 and together with Dowding he gave the Nazi war machine its first undeniable defeat. The book is extremely well written and the author seems to have gotten access to all the necessary facts to keep the reader keenly interested.

One shudders to think what would have happened had Park not been in charge of 11 Group this book explains clearly just how vital his sector was and how he managed his squadrons and personnel, he was clearly light years ahead of his contemporaries. The book also illustrates Parks further career and the politics that surrounded it. Other nations would have re-named their country after him had he done for them what he did for Great Britain in those dark dangerous days in the summer of 1940. If you want to know about how the Battle of Britain was fought and won this book will give you most of what you need.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Jacubs on 9 July 2011
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I have long been a supporter of all things related to the Battle of Britain and there are just three names which are paramount in the winning of this Battle. They are Sir Hugh Dowding, Air Chief Marshall Keith Park and Sir Winston Churchill. Suffice to say that if the Battle had been lost the war would have been lost and western civilisation would have succumbed to the appalling horrors of the Nazis. It has been said that Churchill did not win the Battle and that is true of all three men alone. However it is my opinion that without any one of these men we would likely have lost the Battle. Churchill was the guiding spirit behind both the other men, Dowding was the supreme strategist of Fighter Command and Park was the ultimate tactician of 11 Group. This book gives an incredible in depth analysis of Park's entire career which was amazing enough in WW1 but his foresight together with Dowding in 1939/1940 despite all the efforts of the air ministry and Leigh-Mallory and Douglas Bader in 12 Group to unseat them shows both men's extraordinary fighting spirit and not only in air defence. After the Battle Park went on to command the second half of the siege of Malta then Egypt and finally South East Asia. All through his career he commanded immense respect both for his strategies and tactics but at the same time he met up with opposition from a number of senior officers and also some of the Americans. It never fails to amaze me just how we came to be on the winning side along with the US and the Commonwealth forces. Our forces were often treated almost with contempt at times especially in the far east and Park being such a compassionate person did all he could to alleviate the distress to our returning prisoners of war after their appalling treatment by the Japanese.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Margot on 11 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
A wonderful book. Well written, informative and accurate in its detail. A book that compels one to continue to the end without putting it down. It is a book that clearly details thi importance of this New Zealander during the second world war, especially the Battle of Britain. The author is not afraid to dispel the influence that more publicised flyers might have earned. This is a story of a man well respected by his colleagues. A man whose military mind was acute and whose manner with his pilots was supportive; he was not a man who took all the glory for himself.

This writer conveyed to me the image of a man doing a very difficult job well, not looking for self glorification but who was admired by the men who served with him.

I thouroughly enjoyed the book as it dispelled many myths about other more written about heroes!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Thompson on 15 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
Three great names stand out in The Battle of Britain. Air Marshall Dowding, Winston Churchill and the Spitfire. All these elements were a major contribution to a battle only equalled by the battle of Waterloo for the slim margin of ultimate victory. However after reading this finely written work you realise immidiately that the name which should take precedence over all others as the operational architect of that victory should be that of the reflective and brilliant personality of Air Vice Marshall Keith Park. Without this man's day to day operational genius the battle could have had a very different outcome. He did indeed have as Churchill had done, his very own Cross of Lorraine to bear and contend with in the form of Trafford Leigh Mallory who was the very opposite of Keith Park, both in ability and personality. Overcoming the overbearing incompetance and wrong thinking of this man was a major triumph both for him and ultimately for the outcome of one of the most decisive battles ever fought by this country in it's long and proud history. As Churchill so rightly claimed, the future of western Christian civilization did indeed rest with this great air battle. I would urge anyone who has an interest in this most critical period in the history of these islands in it's titanic struggle against the military machine of Nazi Germany, to read this book.
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