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Finest Hour

de Phil Craig, Tim Clayton (Autor)

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This powerful and incisive account of the events of 1940, told through the voices, diaries, letters and memoirs of the men and women who survived it - and those who lost their lives - provides fascinating and often controversial new insights into the conflicts and the politics of the period. Finest Hour tells the story of how Britain's darkest hour eventually became its finest. ' Craig digs beneath the time-worn legend of stiff-upper-lip English pluckiness to show a far more complex, more human and more moving picture of the human spirit under stress. An intriguing collection of Britons, rich and poor, give vivid, wonderfully told examples of cowardice becoming valor, of shrapnel-swapping among blitz-happy schoolboys, of a summer of exceptional natural beauty and obscenely unnatural death ... The BBC have had their share of television triumphs. They have rarely, however, produced any finer hours than these.' - Washington Post… (més)
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Es mostren totes 3
While subtitled "The Battle of Britain", this is more than another study of the fighting in the sky over the UK. In fact the book starts with British Expeditionary Force in Belgium waiting for the shooting war to start. Using interviews, diaries and memoirs the authors describe what those British soldiers went through as the German armor and masses of men pushed them back to the English Channel.

The authors flip from ground forces to the English pilots who are fighting in France a one sided battle with obsolete planes and constant changing air fields. Fuel & parts were always in short supply. Once the Allied forces reach the Channel, we are given first hand accounts of what it was like to be caught on an open beach by Stukas and other enemy aircraft or finally getting aboard a ship heading for safety only to have to sunk and putting you back in the water.

Once the book moves to England and the more commonly accepted version of the Battle of Britain, we do end up on the fighter bases and follow pilots into the air into battle. We also follow several women who joined the air force and became the controllers who directed the pilots to the enemy bombers. They also formed romantic relationships with the young men and we read about the trauma of listening to them burning alive in their damaged aircraft.

We also read about the memories of the people who live and worked where the German bombs were falling. We also read about the terror of being under falling bombs and having your home destroyed or seeing your friends and neighbours blown to pieces.

Some other sections of the book look at the change of government from Chamberlain to Churchill and the behind the scenes maneuvering in the Conservative Party, the creation of the Lend-Lease Program, the sinking of the SS City of Benares with hundreds of children being evacuated to Canada aboard and the memories of American reporters who served in London during the Blitz.

The research for this book was done for the PBS TV series with the same title.
1 vota lamour | Dec 2, 2017 |
This book needs to be read slowly, to absorb the events of the battles. ( )
  shdawson | Nov 11, 2015 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Phil Craigautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Clayton, TimAutorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Wikipedia en anglès

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This powerful and incisive account of the events of 1940, told through the voices, diaries, letters and memoirs of the men and women who survived it - and those who lost their lives - provides fascinating and often controversial new insights into the conflicts and the politics of the period. Finest Hour tells the story of how Britain's darkest hour eventually became its finest. ' Craig digs beneath the time-worn legend of stiff-upper-lip English pluckiness to show a far more complex, more human and more moving picture of the human spirit under stress. An intriguing collection of Britons, rich and poor, give vivid, wonderfully told examples of cowardice becoming valor, of shrapnel-swapping among blitz-happy schoolboys, of a summer of exceptional natural beauty and obscenely unnatural death ... The BBC have had their share of television triumphs. They have rarely, however, produced any finer hours than these.' - Washington Post

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