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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 27 May 2016
After buying the other edition of this book (70th Anniversary) and enjoying it I thought this special edition 75th Anniversary may have more information in it and maybe some extra pull-out documents which I like. I then purchased this edition only to find the book is exactly the same and instead of more documents there were less! Not really impressed.
So buy the 70th Anniversary edition rather than this later one.
Apart from that they are a quite nice coffee table book but that's about it. If you really want a book about the Battle of Britain there are a lot of good ones around. Most dangerous enemy is probably the top one. James Holland and Patrick Bishop also have written books on the same subject that are very good.
Dave Sheppard.
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on 8 February 2009
Richard Overy is an eminent academic historian. He writes lucidly and persuasively. If you want a relatively short but nevertheless very rounded account of the Battle of Britain then this is the first place to look. This is not a blow by blow account of who shot who when. It is an exceptionally well written analysis of why the battle was fought, how well Britain was prepared for it, and what really happened to both sides. History in perspective doesn't get much better than this.
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This is a high-level study of the Battle of Britain, told in just over 120 pages, with a few notes and appendices. It is a study, not a story: while other authors tell the story of the battle, this is far more hands-off and clinical. For instance, there are no extracts from pilot's diaries (or anyone else's for that matter) and anecdotes are few and far between.

It's a good starting point for reading about the battle, but never seeks to emotionally involve you. There are lots of facts, and some short perceptive analysis: little that is not in other, much longer works, but brevity in a book is its own strength too. I think this is the fourth book of this title (all by separate authors mind you!) of this title on my shelf, so I am not the average reader here, but still was able to learn something from it. There is a lot of fine detail left out of this book, but if you want more its not hard to find other relevant titles to fill in those gaps.

It is clear that the result of the Battle was not that WWII was won; but if Germany had won the battle - either by invasion (which was problematic) or British surrender then they had also won the War, and history would be very different indeed.
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on 7 May 2015
What a breath of fresh air. Richard Overy has managed to debunk a national myth without in any way denigrating the participants in this battle. The sources are good and the book contained large amounts of material that I was unaware of.

Richard, Christine will be proud of you!
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on 20 August 2015
Excellent history. A short book, I read it in conjunction with Patrick Bishop's Battle of Britain and they complemented each other perfectly.
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on 28 December 2005
An interesting read which helps to dismiss many of the myths that have arisen about the Battle of Britain (including its very existence as a battle in its own right and lots of myths you've never heard of)
Unfortunately the book therefore somewhat makes itself pointless; how can you have a book about the Battle of Britain when you just showed that there was no clearly defined battle?!
However, the book does cover an interesting period of history and a lot of the background of the period in question, although it is very thin on the details of the intense period of fighting (for thin, I mean almost non-existent). The book is clearly written by a historian and not a writer; it is well written but it isn't exactly exciting.
So, if you want a quick top up on your history then this book is a worthwhile read, if you want to know about the actual battle period, you'll need to read something else, like the superb 'First Light' by Geoffrey Wellum. Better still, read both!
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on 24 August 2016
It's always refreshing to look at the facts. Nothing here detracts in any way from the sacrifice of those on both side who fought, and paid with their lives or their health. Ultimately the RAF was not defeated, Hitler was not handed an easy victory over this country, but as this account makes very clear, although it was not such overwhelming odds as was portrayed, RAF 'custom and practice' meant that many trained pilots were not used, when their experience as front line pilots would have evened the odds. More trained ground staff would have been useful too.

A concise statement of the balance of forces, freed from the mythology. A good short read.
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on 10 January 2017
fascinating if some what short book questioned a lot of the myths around BOB .i read another BOB book after and the author was fully convinced that the bob was the most important battle in britains history and gushed shakespere and churchillian homage,this book has made me want to read more
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on 7 December 2015
An excellent overview of this aspect of the Second World Two.
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on 20 July 2016
Very good condition, really good read.
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