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Duel Of Eagles: The Struggle for the Skies, 1918-1940 Paperback – 7 Dec 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New edition edition (7 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842122118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842122112
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 882,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Peter Townsend was himself a Squadron Leader during the Battle of Britain and later fought in Night-fighters.


Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
It has been some time since I last read Duel of Eagles but I can remember being transfixed. Prior to this I had read as many accounts of the Battle of Britain as I could find. In general they fell into two catagories, those which were somewhat triumphant in victory, and others which were too scant and of little merit. When Townsend first wrote Duel of Eagles, in the late sixties, the market was saturated with 'blood and thunder' books and so he endeavoured to present a book that was intelligent and all encompassing, rather than dealing with the heroics of individuals, such as in 'reach for the skies'. To do this, he travelled to meet and interview a host of pilots and their relatives from both sides (even Herman Goring's daughter), and has collected the best eyewitness account available. Interspersed are the poignant last letters home from pilots that never returned.
Peter Townsend was himself a hero of the Battle of Britain and logged more flying hours than any other British pilot during the battle. Moreover he found himself fighting by day and then fighting by night during the Blitz. And yet these remarkable achievements are hardly hinted at in his book because he is determined to present the whole picture. It reads as though he enjoyed and was fascinated by all the things that he has discovered and written about. Events of which he must have been blissfully unaware during the early thirties are described as if they were being fitted into his own personal jigsaw puzzle as he tries to make sense of his career in the RAF.
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Format: Paperback
Superb book which I could not put down. The factual nature makes the content akin to the same as an educational text book but the way it is written is engaging and highly digestable.

I would recommend this to anyone with even a fleeting interest in the Battle of Britain. More than any other book I have read on the subject it balances historical narrative with the personal tales, intertwining lives of Townsend, his compatriots and his adversaries.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book immediately after Len Deighton's "Fighter", a book I now feel drew heavily on Thownshend's work,but perhaps gave more of an insight into the German perspective on the battle. "Duel of Eagles" is an easier read, but for a more detailed account of both the British and German tactics and the conflict between commanders and power struggles on both sides, try the Len Deighton account of the battle. "Duel of Eagles", however has that unique first hand account feel which no secondary source writer can achieve. Read both!
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