From the author of Wartime and The Thirties comes an outstanding history of the most prolonged and devastating attack ever endured by Britain's civilian population – the Blitz. September 1940 marked the beginning of Nazi Germany's sustained attack on civilian Britain. Lasting eight months, the Blitz was a new and terrible form of warfare that had been predicted throughout the 1930s, widely feared since Neville Chamberlain's declaration that Britain was at war. Yet, compared with other great events of that war - Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, D-Day - the Blitz remains curiously overlooked; while the London Blitz has been much documented, there exists very little in the way of a comprehensive account of the Blitz experience as a whole - or of its social, political and cultural implications.
In her new book, critically acclaimed historian Juliet Gardiner finally gives the Blitz the historical attention it deserves. Exploring this national story, she charts the impact of the nightly bombings on the entire country. And while loss and devastation affected the whole of Britain, the attacks also served to galvanise the nation: in the face of the terrifying Nazi onslaught, a new determination steadily emerged.
Revealing, original and beautifully written, The Blitz is a much-needed re-examination of one of the most important aspects of Second World War history.
This is an excellent piece of research and writing. It cuts through all the old stories of war time spirit and "We'll meet again" style propaganda. It's all here - the thieves, the deceptions, the making money, the poor preparation, the destruction, the death and the depression. The good stories are there too overall giving an accurate account of how terrible it must have been.
The sheer amount of information in this book does not make it the easiest of listens but if you want to know in-depth about this subject then this is for you. I've given it four stars as it’s such an impressive work but as a casual listen it would be a two or three star book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A fascinating book that really brings home the reality of a nation at war. The carnage and destruction of our cities is described in detail - and makes me remember too that we did even more to german cities. Well read and full of anecdote and first hand evidence of what it was like on the ground. Only misses out on a fifth star because, perhaps inevitably, the detailed accounts of raids does become repetitive.