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  • Published: 30 April 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473581043
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Length: 23 hr 25 min
  • Narrator: Al Murray
  • RRP: $32.99

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

Brought to you by Penguin.

This audio edition includes an exclusive Q&A between James Holland and Al Murray.

'If Hitler fails to invade or destroy Britain, he has lost the war,' Churchill said in the summer of 1940.He was right.The Battle of Britain was a crucial turning point in the history of the Second World War. Had Britain's defences collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe and been able to turn his full attention east to the Soviet Union.

The German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940 was unlike any the world had ever seen. It hit with a force and aggression that no-one could counter and in just a few short weeks, all in their way crumbled under the force of the Nazi hammer blow. With France facing defeat and with British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could possibly survive.Soon, it seemed, Hitler would have all of Europe at his feet.

Yet Hitler's forces were not quite the Goliath they at first seemed, while her leadership lacked the single-minded purpose, vision and direction that had led to such success on land.Nor was Britain any David.Thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the RAF, Royal Navy as well as the mounting sense of collective defiance led by a new Prime Minister, Britain was not ready to roll over just yet.

From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, and from the slaughter by the U-boats in the icy Atlantic to the dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this most epic of stories from all sides, drawing on extensive new research from around the world. In so doing, it paints a complete picture of that extraordinary summer - a time in which the fate of the world truly hung by a thread.

© James Holland 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

  • Published: 30 April 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473581043
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Length: 23 hr 25 min
  • Narrator: Al Murray
  • RRP: $32.99

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 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

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 be 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

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