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The Hardest Day: Battle of Britain, 18 August 1940 (Cassell Military Paperbacks) [Paperback]

Alfred Price
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 July 1998 Cassell Military Paperbacks
This is the story of one single day in the Battle of Britain: Sunday 18 August 1940. There had been an ominous silence in the skies over south east England the day before, after six days of attack by the Luftwaffe and substantial losses on both sides, but the quiet was not to last. On Sunday, a fine summer's day, the Luftwaffe launched three major assaults. In the course of these and numerous smaller actions 100 German and 136 British aircraft were destroyed or damaged. On no other day in the Battle of Britain would either side suffer a greater number of aircraft put out of action. Aviation historian Alfred Price gives a thrilling, absorbing, minute-by-minute account of that hardest day of the Battle, from the perspective of everyone involved - British and German aircrew, behind-the-scenes planners and strategists, and members of the public above whose countryside the Battle was waged. It was a day that changed the destiny of the war.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (23 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304350818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304350810
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dr Alfred Price is one of Britain's foremost professional aviation writers, with many books, including technical volumes, in print. In addition to writing for books, journals and newspapers he acts as historical aviation consultant to film and TV companies on aviation projects. His expertise is always in demand.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A day which shaped the course of history. 8 Oct 2002
This is Dr Alfred Price's masterwork on the Battle of Britain. Now more than twenty years old, the book retains it's vitality and is as easy to read and understand as any book on the subject could possibly be. For the uninitiated, the Battle of Britain is the most pivotal air campaign in history. For approximately ten weeks in 1940, the fate of Britain depended entirely on the Royal Air Force. With her army almost destroyed at Dunkirque, her allies in Europe defeated, Britain stood alone. German raids on RAF airfields almost crippled her ability to defend herself but with the tactics used by Air Chief-Marshall Dowding and Air Vice-Marshall Park, as well as a primitive form of radar (a British invention), a handfull of incredibly brave pilots saved the island nation from invasion.
The book covers a single day; 18th August, 1940, in an easy-to-read narrative style with lucid observations by the people who were actually there. Civilians, Police officers, Telephone linesmen, RAF plotters and fighter pilots, as well as many of the combatants from the Luftwaffe, are quoted freely and eloquently without any apparent break in the pace of the book. The author's exhaustive research was indeed well timed as many of those people are no longer around to give their version of events and Dr Price gives us a good insight into just how this book came to be written in the first place. Unlike many similar books, this one does not get bogged down in detail, nor does it use overly-long quotes from the participants which could distract the reader. It seems to have been the first of it's kind in this regard and remains much-imitated but yet to be matched.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Battle of Britain book 28 Sep 2005
This has got to be the best written book on the Battle of Britain. If you only own one book on the Battle then this has to be it! Being very interested in this subject I have read numerous books over the last ten years of that Summer in 1940. But none come close to the exact feel of living and the sense of feeling of what it must have been like in those days. The research is fantastic and comprehensive, a snap shot of one day in the Battle of Britain taken from both sides of the conflict.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering the Few 5 Aug 2002
I first read this book in 1993. Mr Price took a big chance writing this book. However, he totally convinced me with his meticulous attention to detail that the 18 August 1940 was the turning point of the Battle of Britain. Using accounts from the time, and veterans who spoke of their experiences, Alfred Price turned out a classic book. He will put you in the cockpit of a Spitfire or Messerschmitt, the gunner's position of a Dornier 17, or the RAF personnel on the ground. You will learn to experience what it was like to be in the middle of those terrible raids on the RAF stations of Southern England. It is also an hour by hour account of that Sunday in 1940. You will also see how, no matter what the Germans did, the Battle of Britain would have been won by the few from Fighter Command even if Goering had not changed his strategy and started bombing London. This is a definitive account of a day in 1940 that changed the course of WWII. If you want to know about this momentous battle you should read this book.
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