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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 February 2013
I was at once struck by the superb production standards of this huge book: it is a triple column affair printed on gloss paper and its content is a work of great dedication. It begins with an account of the 'phoney war': this is some 60 pages long and that would be more than 200 pages in a 'normal' size book. There are many personal stories here since bringing the war down to a human level is indeed the main purpose of this work.

The descriptions of the air forces are rather brief, and I would have liked a more comprehensive coverage of the aircraft themselves. Next, the 46 day campaign in France is covered day by day: there is a concise summary of each days activity, followed by detail of every sortie and every aircraft and personnel loss. There are numerous photographs, though these are mainly of wrecked aeroplanes and I would have liked a few more of other things and people. The maps have mostly been copied from original documents: that makes them 'authentic', but they are not always easy to 'read'.

The role of the RAF receives more attention than that of the Armee de l'Air, though I suppose this is to be expected in a British book - certainly there are a great many photographs showing wrecked Hawker Hurricanes. Having said that, the British role in the air campaign was clearly much greater than I had previously supposed, both involving the squadrons based in France and others, especially bombers, flying over from England.

This is not a book you can simply sit down to read from cover to cover, but nor is it just a work of reference. The reader has to decide how to tackle it. You may decide to read all the daily summaries first and cover the individual details separately, or perhaps pick out individual days in the campaign as a whole. Personally I have also bought the companion book on the Battle of Britain: I do not know if I will ever 'get right through' both of these two giant volumes (the latter has more than 800 pages) but I think I owe it to the courageous men of that generation to, as they would have said, 'give it a go'. On a more mundane note, I must add that my copy cost me about £33: that may be rather expensive for a book, but it is nevertheless a bargain.
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on 3 February 2009
This is a book that can rival, or compliment, the other volumes on the Blitz and Battle of Britain. The Battle of France as a subject has suffered for years in the wake of the Battle of Britain for the sole reason, France was a defeat. This book puts the French campaign into context, puts it where it should be as an account of a battle and its place in history. There is no glorification of war it is, like its companion volumes, written in diary format, day by day.

A book so wide ranging has its minor faults and mistakes but, they are not many considering the subject matter. The book, like its companions, is well illustrated throughout with photographs, maps and diagrams. If the book has a fault it may be because it dwells on one or two high profile personalities maybe at the expense of others who were less known. If you want to know what the Battle of France was like then read this. If you are a general reader interested in the air war then you will not be disappointed in this book it is a lasting memory and tribute to those, of both sides, who fought and died in the air war that was the Battle of France.
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on 1 December 2013
This book is a complete masterpiece of dedicated research, wonderfully written and highly readable, telling the story of another "Few" who fought high above the fields of France and Belgium in the period 1939 to June 1940. These fighter pilots and bomber pilots caused such loss to the mighty Luftwaffe, that, added to the further losses suffered during the later Battle of Britain, caused Hitler and Goring to cancel the invasion of Great Britain. These men had not the glory of The Few who fought within sight of the British public in saving Britain during 1940. Many were killed or simply remain missing even today. This book tells their story admirably and with the same amount of detailed research, pictures;Then and Now, as the Battle of Britain:Then and Now book did, which became a collectors item. This will too.

Peter Cornwell is a highly respected research author in this field who has worked on many books telling the story accurately and getting rid of the myths of those desperate days, leaving the true story of heroes, now not forgotten.

There are many illustrations, photographs that have never been seen before and updates on the fate of survivors and those who fell. The missing and the ones whose graves or crash sights are recorded. Fully telling the whole story as no one else has done before and a wonderful book to have alongside Twelve Days in May by Brian Cull, who covers these days also remarkably well. This is a large book but worth the postage. It will keep you spell bound by the fighting against far greater odds than those suffered in the later Battle of Britain, also without the benefits of RDF (Radar). This tells the forgotten stories of triumph and tragedy; Of men who were the ace pilots like "Ginger" Lacey, Paul Richey, Sammy Allard, A. G. Lewis and Denis David. Also of the heroes who were slaughtered by the faster Me109s and Me110s in their Battles, Blenheims and other slower bombers in trying to bomb the bridges, the armoured columns and the airfields of the enemy as they remorselessly advanced through France, Belgium and the Low Countries using the art of Blitzkrieg.

Peter Cornwell has left a fitting tribute to these men and machines, telling it how it was and remembering the sacrifice and the days of glory overshadowed by the later battles over Britain that same year, in which many of the survivors fought also.

This book is one that you will not want to part with.

Paul Davies FRTCA BoBHSc
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on 5 December 2014
As has been noted by many others this is a wonderful book - full of detail describing not just the air battle leading to the Fall of France but also the efforts of the Dutch and Belgian airforces to resist the German invaders.

Given the circumstances that prevailed at the time, there are a large amount of photographs of wrecked and abandoned airframes often with German military personnel posing nearby. Many were taken by German soldiers and despite the efforts of Mr Cornwell (and no doubt others) to identify the individual aircraft and locations many remain anonymous.

I find these - especially where the same airframe has been photographed at different times - as fascinating as the detailed accounts of the day to day losses of the opposing forces.

Although I have already marked many pages in this book (and in 'The Potez 63 Family' by José Fernandez that I also bought at the same time) my main problem has been how to use such a huge amount of information contained in this impressive book - it is a both a detailed diary of events, a grouping of general summaries and a collection of photographs.

The book was bought through Amazon Marketplace and arrived before the expected delivery date.
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on 18 March 2011
the authors and publishers have put together the definative history of the Battle of France in 1940. they have managed to unearth combat reports, photos etc to give a day-by-day account of events as the German forces swept through France and the Low countries to occupy Europe.A reference work that you will return to time after time
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on 30 April 2013
After The Battle is something of a by word for quality and scholarly research.
What you get here is a book which complements their "Blitzkrieg" and leads easily on to their battle of Britain book , and which complements very well their massive study on the bombing of the UK.
Hard to fault ATB in their approach and standard of their work , they set a fine benchmark.
This is very much a book for students of the air war and those who have a specialist interest in the battle for France, it would be difficult to sit down and read it from "cover to cover" , to me it is not that kind of book , it does for me work as a reference tool and as such I cannot fault it.
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on 10 April 2013
A must have for everybody who is intersted in World War II. I first saw the book in Duxford but when I went back to buy it, it was allready sold. Very nice and beautiful pictures completes this thick book!
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on 10 November 2013
Despite some inaccuracies regarding the name of the places or the denomination of French squadrons, this is a very valuable book with very efficient cross reference tables.
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on 28 December 2010
A simply superb publication, well researched and very well laid out. A must for anyone studying this period of WW2 Aviation.
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on 20 December 2013
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