The Most Dangerous Enemy

The Most Dangerous Enemy : A History of the Battle of Britain

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This history of the Battle of Britain provides an encyclopaedic academic rigour: the author went back to original sources both in the Public Record Office and the German archives. Challenging virtually every time-honoured myth and assumption about Britain's victory, the book questions the traditional myth of an amateurish, honourable British "Few" up against a pitiless and regimented German war machine. It actually asserts exactly the opposite: that it was Britain's pilots who were the ruthless combatants and its aircraft production that was the well-oiled machine, and the Germans who never quite recovered from their amateurish underestimation of their "most dangerous enemy".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 129.5 x 193 x 33mm | 340.2g
  • Aurum Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • b&w illustrations, maps
  • 1854108018
  • 9781854108012
  • 893,300

Review Text

When World War II began in earnest in 1940, England found itself lamentably ill-equipped to resist invasion: 'At Dover there were three anti-tank guns covering five miles of coast.' And many of Britain's key politicians - among them Rab Butler - wanted to sue for peace as an optimistic alternative to invasion. Then came Winston Churchill's sudden promotion. His inspired and inspiring speeches in the build-up to the decisive air battle he knew must follow are only part of a thrilling prelude in Part I of this definitive account of the Battle of Britain. The hurried training of combatants on both sides and the rapid construction of new aircraft in a desperate bid for superior air power to outrun and outfight the enemy, resulting in the Hurricane and the even more famous Spitfire, are recounted here in a narrative that compares favourably with the most exciting works of combat fiction. Many of the details of the War in the Air are drawn from first-hand accounts by the aircrews and pilots who fought it, often with a self-effacing nonchalance which only serves to underline the incredible bravery of these young men who risked their lives time and time again throughout the summer months of 1940. In this book, the youthful heroes of the Battle of Britain have found a worthy memorial to their great deeds. The book is an outstanding achievement, with intelligent and copious illustration. It is only a pity that the publishers have used a cheeseparingly small typeface to print such an exciting and important work. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

'The most exhaustive and detailed account of the Battle of Britain that has yet appeared'- Times Lietrary Supplement; 'A fascinating case history in illusion and reality. He dispels the myths and kills the cliches... Admirable'- Godfrey Smith, Sunday Timesshow more

About Stephen Bungay

Stephen Bungay studied Modern Languages and Philosophy at Oxford and subsequently at the University of Tubingen in Germany. He lives in more
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