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  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9780552156103
  • Imprint: Corgi
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 928
  • RRP: $27.99

The Battle of Britain

The ground-breaking and definitive account of the Battle of Britain from one of this country's most acclaimed young historians

'A notable account of an epic human experience' Max Hastings, Sunday Times

'Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war' Sir Winston Churchill, speech to the House of Commons, 18 June 1940

The Nazi Blitzkrieg was unlike any invasion the world had ever seen. It hit Europe with a force and aggression that no-one could counter. Within weeks the German armies were at the French coast and looking across at Britain. It seemed impossible that she would be able to resist invasion.

Between the Nazis and glory stood an apparently fragile defence, but the men and women of Fighter, Bomber and Coastal Commands and the Royal Navy would not be cowed. Their heroics that summer would go down in history.

In The Battle of Britain for the first time, James Holland tells this most epic of stories from a 360° perspective - when the fate of the world truly hung by a thread.

  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9780552156103
  • Imprint: Corgi
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 928
  • RRP: $27.99

About the author

James Holland

James Holland is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of a number of best-selling histories including Battle of Britain, Dam Busters, Burma ’44 and, most recently, Big Week, hehas also written nine works of historical fiction, including the Jack Tanner novels.

He is currently writing an acclaimed three-volume new history of the Second World War, The War in the West. He has presented – and written – many television programmes and series for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, History and Discovery Channels.

He is also co-founder of the Chalke Valley History Festival and co-founder of WarGen.org, an online Second World War resource site, and presents the Chalk Valley History Hit podcast. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he also has a weekly podcast with Al Murray, We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Al Murray and James Holland Talk World War II. He can be found on Twitter as @James1940.

Also by James Holland

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Praise for The Battle of Britain

Holland is one of a new generation of historians who were born long after the war but who bring to the subject a freshness and proper spirit of enquiry. A great achievement

John Sergeant, Sunday Express

Excellent on all the technicalities of the conflict ... full of lively pen portraits and unusual insights


Stuffed with personal accounts that drive the narrative along at a cracking pace

Patrick Bishop, Mail on Sunday

Ambitious and comprehensive ... the pace never flags as the narrative ranges effortlessly from the cockpit of the Spitfire to the gallery of the House of Commons

Saul David, Daily Telegraph

Comprehensive and readable

The Economist

Holland is superb at switching the focus of the action while maintaining the pace and drama of the story


A definitive record...The fact we won is remarkable, and Holland brings the events vividly to life *****

News of the World

A full and fascinating account...Edge-of-the-seat exciting


Holland is a narrative historian par excellence who believes that people should eb at the heart of any story and brings the characters of the age to life...[an] excellent, highly-readable volume

Navy News

Full of lively accounts of aerial contests and well-observed details.

BBC History Magazine

History told with panache and an excellent grasp of the technical details

Sunday Times

Holland's narrative is impressively comprehensive and is a superb introduction to one of the great turning points of the last war. More importantly it is stirring, occasionally even exhilarating, as any history of this period is obliged to be

Literary Review

A fitting, and beautifully illustrated, tribute to the Few, while not forgetting the unsung heroes of Bomber Command

Times Educational Supplement

There have been many books about the Battle of Britain but few as exhaustive - and readable - as this scholarly account

Choice Magazine

Facts and figures say a great deal, but the most compelling accounts come from those who featured in the battle. Like any good author, Holland allows the participants to tell the story in their own words.

The Good Book Guide

Holland is excellent on telling detail...This is a notable account of an epic human experience, told with the informality and enthusiasm that distinguish Holland's work...If the story is familiar, Holland tells it with authority and exuberant panache

Max Hastings, The Sunday Times

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