A companion volume to The Battlefields That Nearly Were: Defended England 1940, William Foot's compelling writing once again grabs you by the lapels and pulls you into the world of researching the anti-invasion defences of 1940 as he travels the landscapes of the South-West, Midlands and North of England.
The author takes you to the modern landscape and guides you around some of the surviving pillboxes and other defence works before suddenly transporting you into the archives and then whisking you back 70 years to the same spot in 1940 in such a way that you don't always realise it's happened!
This book provides a fascinating insight into the author's work for English Heritage to research nearly 70 'Defence Areas' across England where many defence works and features still survived.
Aimed primarily at the layman, 'Defended England' might not be everybody's cup of tea, but it undoubtedly graces the bookshelves of the professional historian and archaeologist too.
Friends to whom I've shown this book (and 'The Battlefields that nearly were') have taken to the author's style within a few paragraphs, and though the cover price may seem high to some, I feel it is well worth it.
I recieved this book for christmas and was not surprised to find it being much the same as the authors previous publication. Easy reading text along with maps that are sadly drawn like my 7 year old produces without encouragement or coaching. Amusing stories accompany each visit, but historical and military history inter twinned with trivial and un nescesary comments, such as what the author had for breakfast that day, types of company cars and school boys wearing their shirts outside of their trousers!. Each site visit gives details of what may be seen, but some information and recording is in accurate and incorrect, with ommisions of some important defences and other mistakes that will be picked up by readers knowing this subject and the relevant locations. The colour pictures disapoint as many are repetative of the authors previous book Beaches and Hills. In my opinion this new volume is much the same material repeated but beefed up with some humour and entertainment value. Ideal for the novice military enthusiast that needs a simple guide book for day trips out.