Buy Used
£2.80
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

First Blitz: The Secret German Plan to Raze London to the Ground in 1918 Hardcover – 19 May 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£24.99 £0.01
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (19 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385611706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385611701
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 711,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Neil Hanson is that rare beast - a popular historian who never talks down to his readers. Clearly and engagingly written, his book puts more academic historians to shame by discovering a big subject, investigating it thoroughly and drawing bold but far-reaching conclusions from it -- Sunday Telegraph

The 1940s bombing raids over London have taken such a powerful grip upon our imagination that the existence of an earlier Blitz, in World War I, will come to many readers as a complete surprise. Yet as Neil Hanson...demonstrates in this gripping and well-researched book, it was in may ways more terrifying -- Daily Mail

This is a compelling story compellingly told...Gripping -- Navy News

Using first-hand witnesses plus government war records, Hanson draws a powerful picture of the impact of these first air raids -- Time Out

Book Description

The story of the first London Blitz, never before told. Everything that took place in the Battle of Britain twenty two years later is foreshadowed in this story.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very cleverly prefacing each chapter with a relevant contemporary photograph, this throughly entertaining book totally immerses the reader in one of the seminal acts of aerial strategic warfare: calculated German bomber assaults on London and its environs.

Dates, names, places, sights, sounds, machines, drama, folly, consequences - all aspects of these historically and militarily significant operations are laid out in vivid detail to form a wonderfully flowing tale of a little known but vital struggle in the later stages of WW1.

Highly recommended for anyone at all interested in military history, and probably even a fascinating read for those for whom the subject holds little attraction.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The following review appears in the July 2008 edition of Navy News:

HISTORY invariably falls into two categories: academic and narrative.
The former is usually detailed, offers unique insights and can be as dry as the Sahara in a drought.
The latter normally rattles on at a cracking pace but rarely skims the surface of serious research.
To marry the two is a rare art - and it is an art Neil Hanson has mastered.
After first-rate histories of the Spanish Armada and the Great Fire of London, Hanson has turned his attention to the Great War in the Air in First Blitz.
There is a smattering of books on the `first Blitz' as it became known (only after `The Blitz' Blitz a generation later) - but almost all of these focus on the raids of 1917.
A year later, a far more destructive series of raids were planned, however - a story which is the hub of this work - which would have been a mirror image of what Londoners would face in 1940. But there are echoes of WW2 throughout this volume.
Blackouts - limited initially - were imposed in the autumn of 1914. Street lamps, bright shop signs, bus headlights were all dimmed. Black curtains were the rule in every window. The darkness exacerbated people's panic and fear - and sparked an upsurge in criminal activity.
There were (nonsensical) inter-Service rivalries. The Royal Naval Air Service would defend dockyards and naval facilities but would only operate over the hinterland when German bombers or Zeppelins crossed the coast. Soldiers manned anti-aircraft guns (or `archie') in ports, while naval guns ringed London to defend the capital.
Read more ›
2 Comments 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a good read and is supported by an enormous fifteen page biography, yet I was not 'comfortable' with it.

The theme is that in 1917- 18 Londoners were terrified by the German Gotha and 'Giant' air raids and that had the electron incendiary bomb raids taken place London may, in effect. have been destroyed and Britain been brought to its knees. The author describes the destruction and terror caused by every raid in infinite detail- nearly every wall that collapsed is mentioned- but that really is the point. It is only possible to go into such fine detail because there were very few raids in total and the attacks were sustained repeatedly for just a single week in the whole campaign. Mr Hanson claims there was no 'Blitz Spirit' but does not explain how London survived in 1940- 41 when being attacked by 300+ bombers but would not have done so in 1918 when attacked by 30 frail Gothas. Of course the German bombers of 1940 had not been designed for strategic warfare but nevertheless they were still far superior to anything available in 1918.

Its true the experience of being bombed was new- although not entirely so since in some ways the preceding Zeppelins were more frightening than the aircraft. My mother lived through 1939- 45 in the East End and told me they could 'live with' the bombers but were most frightened by the psychological impact of the 'doodle bugs'. Bluntly, Londoners of 1918 were much the same people as those of 1940 and ultimately would have coped in the same way- as indeed did the German public even as late as 1945, despite far heavier raids by Bomber Command and the US 8th Airforce. As Neil Hanson himself admits, the 1917- 18 campaign killed only 836 people in the whole country and often many months separated the individual raids.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I had read and heard about the zeppelin raids in WWI,I had know idea just how bad they had been until I read this book.The war which must have seemed far away all of a sudden it was there own door steps,with death dropping from the sky.This book recreates the fear and terror of modern warfare which had never been seen before.And of the aircrews fighting a new style war.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This engrossing book covers an aspect of WW1 about which I knew precisely nothing. Like most people to whom I have spoken since reading the book, I was completely unaware of the Zeppilin and Gotha raids of 1917/18, and of the reactions to them. Research has clearly been detailed and painstaking, resulting in a book written in a very readable style which is informative as well as being entertaining.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not sure about this book in that I would like to give it five stars but something keeps holding me back. A well written book largely based on recollections of those who flew the German bombers, their British and French opponents and those who suffered funder the raids. Sparsely illustrated and I feel that some background of the German Fire Plan would not go amiss.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback