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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 8 September 2005
This is one of those books you just CANNOT put down. It is a truly wonderful account of all different walks of life - weaving in and out of each others lives climaxing in the fateful "longest night" of bombing. It is funny, witty, charming and very poignant. I really loved this. It has everything you could wish for. My dad lived through the first "blitz" in September 1940 as a 15 year old lad in silvertown. He is reluctant to speak about the horrors of his house and possessions being wiped out. My grandad was a fireman for india rubba gutta percha company and was not seen for three days (on fire duty) - this book is absolutely compelling to me as I am also absorbed in family history as well. Thank you Mr Gavin Mortimer.
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on 2 December 2014
Iwas 7 years old on this night . idid not know what was going on onley the noise was louder than befor having blind faith in my mother i had asked was we going to be allright she said of corse and i new we wouldb.be. my father was in bed.inthe house we were in the airraid shelter at the end of the garden.we lived just 100 ydsfrom a railway sidings after the germans bomed the docks thay went for the railways these being the main transport for the armys supplys.after one very loud bang the sky was now bright as day with all the fires burning around the docks my father arrived at the shelter having been blown out of bed by a bomb falling in the road next door i dont know what was worse the noise of the bomb or my having a go at my dad for not coming down befor.iforgot my dad was a cripple having had in'fantilepralis at the age of 19 but he still went out fire watching with the a.r.p men
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on 3 November 2015
I have many books on the London Blitz, but to me, this is the very best of them all. It held my interest throughout the 350 odd pages and as many reviewers have said already, it is almost unputdownable! Gavin Mortimer has written one of the greatest of all, seamlessly weaving eye witness accounts together of a painful, but proud and heroic time in our history. It's a book about a period which I have a great interest in and I shall treasure it.
Well worth purchasing.
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on 19 November 2015
This book I read last year on holiday- yes for me this was a great holiday read.
I enjoyed the build up to the blitz during the time frame 10-11 may 1941. The focus was of the lives of the people that this timeframe were involved - Germans in their fighter planes planning and getting ready for the raid, the civilian people who were on firewatch, fire service, ARP wardens etc, and of course the ordinary people of London who got caught up in one of the worst nights of the war.
The author carefully sets out the day and captures scenes of familiar London and as the story unfolds so does the terrifying blitz.I found the stories of trying to save buildings interesting and as I have read the London council bomb maps this gave me even more of an insight. I have read widely on this subject but this was by far the best, it was researched so well and the writing was thought out.

If readers want to find out about this fateful night this is an extremely good read.
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on 29 October 2010
For this countries darkest years, when the entire landscape of this countries capital and numerous cities were changed forever, the Blitz has precious few books of personal accounts on what happened especially to ordinary people during those times.
This book covers the raids on the 10th and 11th of May 1941 in which 515 bombers attacked London killing 1,486 and seriously injuring 1,800 Londoners.
You can't really imagine the scale of the devastation but this book I thought was like little windows opening up into peoples experiences giving you a glimpse of one night in the turmoil and the horror.
The book is quite balanced and makes note of the thieving and looting from the ruins and the looting of the dead which stands in stark contrast to the vast number of acts of exceptional bravery, heroism, compassion and strength.
I liked too that the book distances itself from the censored information and government lines of the time casualty figures are unbiased and the 'pro-royal' sentiment is notably absent.
Really I can not recommend this book highly enough, I came to this page looking for rave reviews its too good a book only to have one review...
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on 2 November 2012
Easy writing style. Well built story. The destroyed landmarks would probably have more impact to those people that knew them. A few more pictures would be good. The true story BOMBER, by Len Deighton is crafted in the same way, and parrallels this story, but with us bombing the germans.
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on 12 March 2014
My dad was in the AFS stationed at Shoreditch in the Blitz. I never learned much about it from him - he just said it was "bloody busy". A chance meeting at work and a chance comment resulted in me being handed a copy of the paperback. I had little chance to read it at work so I decided to give the bloke a call to collect it and I downloaded the ebook. I grew up in New Cross, work in the City and know many of the places referred to, so it's quite sobering to understand the current geography was largely due to the Luftwaffe.
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on 7 July 2014
I bought this as a gift for my Father as he lived in Battersea for the first 2 years of WW2. He was 7 when war broke out and can remember the horrific fires and coming out of the shelters twice with his family to find their home was no longer there. My grandparents eventually moved to Kent and spent the rest of the war safer.
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on 7 August 2014
An excellent book that tells the story of a forgotten aspect of the second world war. Having relatives who lived though this era but not really talked about their experiences gave this book a whole new meaning.
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on 7 April 2014
A compelling read. An brief insight into the lives of the Londoners on what really must have seemed a night that lasted for eternity.
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