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Finest Hour : The Battle of Britain [Paperback]

By Tim Clayton (Author) & Phil Craig (Joint Author)
Our Price $ 17.47  
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Item Number 153107  
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Item description for Finest Hour : The Battle of Britain by Tim Clayton & Phil Craig...

This gripping account of the Battle of Britain--originally published as the companion volume to a four-part television series from WGBH in Boston--offers a fascinating and definitive history of one of the most significant turning points of World War II. Photos.

Publishers Description
Sixty years ago, Europe lay at the feet of Adolf Hitler. Standing between Hitler and world domination was the just-appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill...and a few hundred pilots in the Royal Air Force's Fighter Command. Defeat seemed inevitable. Instead, a legend was born.
Taking its readers on a breathtaking journey from open lifeboats in North Atlantic gales to the cockpits of burning fighter planes, "Finest Hour" re-creates the tensions and uncertainties of the events of 1940 -- months when the fate of the world truly hung in the balance. It is a powerful account, told through the voices, diaries, letters, and memoirs of the men and women who lived and loved, fought and died, during that terrible yet ultimately triumphant year. The personal stories of these soldiers and airmen, diplomats and politicians, journalists and spies, are combined with a fresh and often controversial account of the swirling political intrigues and betrayals of the period.
A testament to a year when a nation's darkest hour became its finest, "Finest Hour" is a singular achievement and an indispensable contribution to the literature of World War II.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Finest Hour : The Battle of Britain by Tim Clayton & Phil Craig has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 894

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Simon & Schuster
Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 5.72" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 12, 2002
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  0684869314  
ISBN13  9780684869315  

Availability  81 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 09:04.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Tim Clayton & Phil Craig

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tim Clayton, author and writer/producer of numerous historical documentaries, and Phil Craig, of the award-winning documentary production company Brook Lapping (U.K.), are the authors of the bestselling book "Finest Hour" as well as "The End of the Beginning."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General
7Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II

Reviews - What do customers think about Finest Hour : The Battle of Britain?

Very Good Book!   Jul 31, 2007
I really liked this book and it was written in great detail about the events that lead to the Battle of Britain. I guess I'm a little partial to the RAF and thought that the story could have been more about the airmen who served in the Royal Air Force. The only reason I didn't like the book is that it jumped around too much and never really focused on the Royal Air Force's other squadrons such as the Eagle Squadron. Don't get me wrong it's a great book, like I said earlier I'm a little partial to the RAF and would've like to hear more about the airmen because when people think about the Battle of Britain, that's the first thing that comes to mind.
This book covers the period May - November 1940 when Britain was in its most precarious position, struggling for its very survival.

Through diary extracts and personal interviews (from the survivors) by both authors, you get a really tangible sense of the urgency, fear, hope and danger that the British lived with during that time. Among the people profiled in this book were:

i) a British tank commander who fought against Rommel's "Ghost Division" (the 7th Panzer Division) during the spring fighting in Northern France, barely escaping capture, and later managing to escape to England

ii) an RAF fighter pilot who flew Hurricanes in France and later over England

iii) a WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) fighter controller

iv) an American journalist with connections to both Roosevelt and Churchill

v) a young sailor in the Royal Navy, who assisted in the evacuation of Allied military personnel from Dunkirk and later served in a naval task force Churchill sent to Oran to attack the surface vessels of the French Navy stationed there, so as not to allow those ships to come under German control following the French surrender.

If you are one of those readers who seeks to find a "real and human" connection with what the Second World War was like, you can't go wrong with "THE FINEST HOUR".
Behind the scenes of the battle  Oct 27, 2003
First of all, I wish to state that this book is good reading. But, it's not really about "The Finest Hour" as one would expect. Rather, it is the story of several people up to and including the Battle of Britain. It interweaves the experiences of Churchill and his secrataries, Roosevelt, newspaper columnists from New York, a sailor, a few fighter pilots and the women plotters who plotted the courses of the planes. The book describes their collective experiences during the invasion of France; the evacuation from Dunkirk; the child evacuations from England and so forth. Their stories are told as a series of vignettes. (If you were watching this on television, you could see each story fade to black and then a new story developing). It does make for good reading.

However, the book really does not cover the logistics, the aerial fighting during the Battle of Britain, or the tactics of battle. In that respect, I was disappointed. I think the book should have been called "Behind the Scenes of the Battle of Britain". Nevertheless, be prepared that you are not going to read about the history of the battle, but about a few peoples' experiences during the battle.

Truly their finest hour....  Dec 26, 2002
Without a doubt, this is an excellent book. Therein, the reader will receive a view into the lives British fliers, sailors, soldiers, and civilians as well as "detached" observers, such as American journalists from the Battle of France through the Blitz.

What made this book special to me, was that I had the opportunity to learn more about the fellows of 17 Sqn. Some years ago, I had the privilege to correspond with one of the characters - Harold Arthur Cooper Bird-Wilson (known in the book as "Birdy" Bird-Wilson), DFC DSO; this book gave me a better insight to not only to his experiences, but also to those across the spectrum of British society during that time.

Excellent book on understanding what Britian went through  Dec 21, 2002
Very well written, very exciting. I could not put this book down. I did not know to much about World War II except what the US did. This tells me a whole new story that I never knew.

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