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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .....and there were always too many legs.
Until I read this book I used to think I knew a fair amount about the Blitz, - I was wrong. My knowledge was limited to what I had learnt from the "Battle of Britain " film and rumours that abound about the "Blitz Spirit" and sheltering in London's Tube stations.

I had never heard of Mass Observation, a real war-time 'Big Brother' that made regular reports on...
Published on 2 April 2011 by Simply said

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feel like I've read this before......
Great fan of this lady and have all her books on WWII. Sadly when reading this I felt I have read it all before in her other previous publications. I suppose after a while you can only write so much about the same subject. Felt like it was just covering old ground. If you have never read any thing by this lady before then this shall be a good read.
Published on 30 Oct 2010 by NICOLA DOWNEY


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .....and there were always too many legs., 2 April 2011
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This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
Until I read this book I used to think I knew a fair amount about the Blitz, - I was wrong. My knowledge was limited to what I had learnt from the "Battle of Britain " film and rumours that abound about the "Blitz Spirit" and sheltering in London's Tube stations.

I had never heard of Mass Observation, a real war-time 'Big Brother' that made regular reports on citizens morale and were not averse to criticising some of the dafter procedures that were in place in the early days. Low gas pressure for cooking, low or no water pressure, - these are things that never surfaced before on my radar.

I had no idea that RAF bombs out-killed (murdered?) civilians by a factor of over 14.5:1 and neither had I any idea of the number of homes destroyed and badly damaged. Who would have thought that the WVS would grow to be a million plus strong by the end of the war, having started out as a few names in one lady's address book? I could go on, but I hope you get the idea!

The title I have chosen for this review is taken from the end of a quote by a Red Cross Nurse who had the job of trying to reassemble body parts after they had been exposed to High Explosive bombs of 50kg and upwards. Many times I felt myself experiencing what was written in front of me. I could taste the brick dust, smell the smoke and feel the fear of the countless heroes who exposed themselves to any and every sort of danger. I think it is humbling to discover what a large proportion of our urban populations (and not just London) had to endure - there were many, many unsung heroes amongst them.

A thoroughly well-researched book that contains several harrowing tales and pulls no punches. In her acknowledgements towards the end of the book, Dr. Gardiner states that the book could not have been written without a lot of help. It is my contention that without her, we would never have had this opportunity to learn about this dreadfully grim period in our country's history. This is definitely a book I shall keep so that I can read and re-read over the years.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living throught the Blitz, 2 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
This book first interested me, because I lived through those times.(My 11th birthday was 6.9.1939). I was born and lived in Southall,Middlesex, a western suburb of London. We suffered from the bombing during the blitz, but not as much as people from central and east London, as was painfully clear to me when I read this book. During September 1940,a girl that had been in my class was killed with her sister one evening. My memory of her has never faded.
This book covers in detail the immense suffering of so many people in many ways, with the background of society then, and events leading up to the war Evacuation of their children, Londoners taking shelter in underground stations, the immense clearing up each morning after a raid, the marvellous work of rescue workers, fire fighters, medical staff, the personal tragedies every day, couple to anxiety about loved ones serving in the armed services.However the population got on with it with grim determination.
After the air raids faded out in 1941/1942, due to the advent of radar carrying fighter aircraft, and the diversion of Luftwaffe resources to the Russian front, there was a respite,
Unfortunately the raids then took a new form, the V1(doodle-bugs) and V2(rockets).
( One that fell in Southall brought the seiling in on my bed-I wasn't in it at the time!) Mecifully after D day the raids fell away as Eirope was occupied.
I can thoroughly recommend this book-it pulls no punches in getting its message across
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving book, 29 Nov 2010
By 
Imelda "Imelda" (a village in Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of this author's books and was not disappointed with this one.

Juliet Gardiner covers all aspects of the Blitz, not just on London but on the rest of the country as well. It is easy for us in modern day Britain to read about this time in history and almost dismiss it without actually thinking about what the Blitz meant. Reading the harrowing descriptions of the nightly bombing and the unselfconcious heroism of the normal people who dreaded a "Bomber's Moon" and the bravery of the Air Raid Wardens, Rescue Squads etc night after night, made me really think and imagine what it must have been like and wonder if I could have possibly stood up to the experience.

Well worth reading to remind ourselves of what our parents and grandparents lived through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life under the Luftwaffe, 23 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
This book presents a detailed and broad account of life in Britain during the Blitz. It is very well written, in fact so well written I could often imagine as I read that someone was telling me the story in person. The book looks at where the Blitz struck, who it affected, how it affected them, the responses of the local authorities and of central government. It concentrates mainly on London, as the East End suffered the worst of the bombing, with a briefer survey of the Blitz in the provinces, Clydebank and Belfast receiving particular attention. It is full of detail and eye-witness accounts. This was the Home Front, the domestic war, with all of the terror of the battlefield and none of the excitement. The author often resists making comment and lets the facts and the situations speak for themselves. A polical message permeates the whole book, which is natural given that working class areas were hardest hit and social tensions were brought out by the Blitz, and although the politics was a little too obvious at times, it is nonetheless highly relevant. A very good book in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for USA, 13 April 2011
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This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
This was a perfect gift for a relative in America who was raised in England and who emigrated after the war ended. It really gives a picture of those times.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feel like I've read this before......, 30 Oct 2010
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This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
Great fan of this lady and have all her books on WWII. Sadly when reading this I felt I have read it all before in her other previous publications. I suppose after a while you can only write so much about the same subject. Felt like it was just covering old ground. If you have never read any thing by this lady before then this shall be a good read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the things you didn't realise you didn't know about the Blitz..., 30 May 2011
By 
bookelephant (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
I'm quite ashamed to admit how much of this book came as news to me: the brevity of the actual Blitz (September 1040 to May 1941), its sheer reach - and how much of what we think of as "the Blitz spirit" was propaganda. Also very interesting in the light of First Blitz was how, despite learning some of the lessons of that blitz (progress from the policeman on a bike as air raid warning!), there was still so very much to learn when the Blitz of the Second World War materialised - and how those lessons seemed to have to be relearnt in each new location where the attacks fell. So overall the picture I had had of a country ready for such attacks was very far from the truth (I mean, did you know all the fire departments were local, ond often had different hose sizes, so nearby teams could actually not thelp when they were needed?).
Also fascinating is the dark underbelly of the Blitz - the looting on what appeaars to have been an epic scale, so bombed out families would return to their houses to find everything not bombed had been stolen, and the level of endemic anti Semitism.
But my favourite aspect of the book is the way Gardiner takes you through the raids with those who suffered them, with first hand accounts of the raids themselves and their aftermaths. So we stand in St Pauls Cathedral with the fireewatchers, alert to put out incendiaries whereever they fall as soon as can be; and the next morning we walk with one or other of the diarists around their bombstruck area, noticing the changes in the face of the city they knew and loved.
Full of fascinating insights and never a dull moment - enjoy!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London Blitz, 13 Oct 2010
By 
M. Hayesman (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
A very good book on a topic that has a few to choose from. Clear text well researched and presented nice clear photos. Worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Keep Calm and Carry On!, 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Blitz: The British Under Attack (Kindle Edition)
I am not sure that 'I love it' is really appropriate for such a book. This is a pretty thorough study of the effects of the German air raids on British towns and cities during 'the People's War', and because Juliet Gardiner writes for 'the people' it is very easy to read and digest. Having said that, it is also pretty indigestible because of the terrible stories of destruction, loss and appalling conditions faced by the British people on the Home Front. Although I was born after the war, I found my self almost weeping for the loss of a London (my home city) I never knew. The descriptions of the air raids on Belfast and Plymouth were particularly heart-rending; how people stood it I really can't begin to comprehend.
This is a brilliant book to read if you are at all interested in the last war; and perhaps it ought to be read by those who are not just so that we, as a post-war generation, have some understanding of what our parents and grandparents endured.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book., 4 Jan 2013
By 
D. H. Mackenzie (sittingbourne, kent . uk.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Blitz (Hardcover)
This book is great. I realy enjoyed it. there was lots of information and it has been put togeather well.
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