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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars9
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 October 2007
I have never been moved to write a review of a book before but this is so bad that I just had to let rip !
It is 233 pages long and all but 9 or 10 pages are padding. The author has no real evidence whatsoever for his contention yet stretches out what is essentially a short article to a full length book.
Avoid at all costs !
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on 12 February 2011
Well written, and politely explains and acknowledges his sources as he proceeds. Moreover at least he works towards a conclusion and so keeps the reader's attention. (Author was a former suspense writer). It recaptures some of the strange atmosphere of 1940-41, if only with the photos.
Its claims are, however, historically worthless. By all means get the book, but only if you want fiction--in fact the author should have written it as that. Hayward and Foynes (quoted in the text, I think), who did the real research, would not endorse it! Nor would the Germans, who have now put their E-Boat and similar histories into print and online.
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on 9 November 2007
The exciting, enduring mystery of what, if anything, happened on the East Anglian coast in 1940 is one that has lasted for over 60 years and will no doubt continue. But this book provides no answer. After several chapters of thin padding, the author reveals his answer to the mystery: a tale some bloke down the pub told him - literally! Without spoiling the tale (if that's possible) some bloke told him in the 1960's he found a German cap on a Suffolk beach during the war. Except he didn't have it anymore, because he sold it after the war at an (un-named) auction. Hardly concrete evidence that would stand up in court is it? If you want a much better and fact-based investigation into the story, try 'The Bodies on the Beach: Sealion, Shingle Street and the Burning Sea Myth of 1940' by James Hayward.
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on 18 December 2013
This book wonders all over the shore. I give up reading it and had forgotten I had it until asked to review it. Does not seem to really get in to what may have happened and spends time on about the French invasion attempts.
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on 16 August 2007
It may be hard to believe, but to this day there are people convinced that the east coast of England was invaded by the Germans in 1940. The story is that the invaders were repulsed, with the British using some kind of secret flame weapon, and for some reason the British covered this up. This story, often placed at Shingle Street in Suffolk, is the basis for this book by Peter Haining.

The core of the book, the invasion rumour, is a fascinating subject. A quick Google shows that there really are websites set up to try and prove this story is true. However, Haining entertainingly debunks the myth here. A mixture of stories about bodies washed up on beaches (probably the result of air attacks on ships in the Channel) and rumours about the testing of flame throwers (which did take place) can lead to these kinds of stories in a situation where official information is heavily censored, and people are encouraged not to talk about almost anything, for fear of giving information to the enemy.

What Haining has here is the basis for an excellent article, or a series of articles. Instead he has filled it out with background information on previous invasion attempts on the east coast. This does make for a reasonably diverting read, but there's no doubt that it's been padded out to fill a whole (albeit short) book.

Haining finishes the book with his big revelation - that a small group of Germans did land in England, but they were members of an E-boat crew and they stopped only briefly. According to the author, this story was told to him by a friend in a pub, who collected some German equipment on a beach and took it home with him. He told no-one at the time and no longer has the evidence. Unfortunately, in recounting this story as proof of a German landing, the author comes across as somewhat gullible. It's difficult to believe that in 1940, when the nation was faced with the constant threat of invasion, anyone could find evidence of Germans having landed in England, take it home and not tell anyone! Which probably goes to show that a story told to you by a man in a pub isn't really the most reliable source of information.
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on 24 July 2007
This book is really about how Britain faced the threat of invasion from the dark ages up to 1940. I do not wish to detract from it since it is a jolly good read however,many may find that the "big bang" of the title turns into a damp squib.That being said Mr Haining has a lively style and lovingly recreates the world of"dads army" mad "boffins" and false invasion alarms. Whilst i am on the subject i would heartily recommend this authors companion work "The Chianti Raiders" which deals with the little known subject of Italian air raids on East Anglia in 1940.l
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on 17 March 2009
I found the complete set of PH's WW2 books for a silly price in a remnant book shop; Eagle is the 1st one I picked up & started reading (Having caught the last 10 minutes of the film "The Eagle has Landed" on cable the other night.

An entertaining read - I enjoyed the "padding out" (& guessed the denoument would be along the lines of (I met this bloke in a pub...")& have checked out the James Hayward recommendation (it has been added to my wants list).

Overall 3 stars, worth picking up for an overview of UK preparations for invasion in 1940 and/or whiling away a long journey
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on 28 June 2013
Excellent read with a lot of unanswered questions, but which left little doubt that the Germans did not land in Britain in numbers in WWii. However, it seems unlikely that whilst Britain and its Allies were aboe to mount many raids on the Occupied Coasts, that the Germans did not do like-wise.
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on 13 October 2014
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