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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer by Alastair Panton, read by Jonathan Keeble. 

As I write, I can clearly recall the stinging heat of a burning Blenheim, smells, tastes, expressions, sounds of voices and, most of all, fear gripping deep in me.

Flying Officer Alastair Panton was just 23 when his squadron deployed across the Channel in the defence of France. They were desperate days.

Pushed back to the beaches as the German blitzkrieg rolled through the Low Countries and into France, by June 4th 1940 the evacuation of the Allies from Dunkirk was complete. A little over two weeks later France surrendered.

Flying vital, dangerous, low-level missions throughout the campaign in support of the troops on the ground, Panton's beloved but unarmed Bristol Blenheim was easy meat for the marauding Messerschmitts. At the height of fighting he was losing two of his small squadron's crews to the enemy every day.

Discovered in a box by his grandchildren after his death in 2002, Alastair Panton's Six Weeks of Blenheim Summer is a lost classic. One of the most moving, vivid and powerful accounts of war in the air ever written. And an unforgettable testament to the courage, stoicism, camaraderie and humanity of Britain's greatest generation.

©2018 Alastair Panton (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The best account of the chaos and confusion of war outside the pages of Evelyn Waugh." (The Times)

"One can't help feeling awe and reverence for people like this. There are enough adventures here for a lifetime." (Louis de Bernieres)

"Simply wonderful. One of the best accounts of WWII I have ever read." (John Nichol)

What members say

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Enjoyable and quite interesting recollections of the early months of the war

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the recollections of a British pilot in the early months of World War Two in France. It is performed beautifully

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  • Mr. Alan R. Jenkins
  • 06-10-18

Blenheim Reflection in Darkest Times of 1940

Well delivered and thoroughly engaging. The fact that Blenheim pilots were victims of their obsolete aircraft you can only applaud their sacrifice, courage and mettle against all odds. This biography of sorts of Alastair Panton father is superbly documented with facts, antidotes and whimsical tomes, but above all it portrays the six weeks of May-June 1940 when the Germans advanced through France despite the efforts of gallant French and British Airmen to stem the tide. The book focuses of the Reconnaissance Blenheim force, which though heavily outperformed by the Luftwaffe fighters, struggled to but successfully achieved the vital situational information required daily by the ground forces. The tells of the aircrew and groundcrew interactions; and the interactions of the local French people who above all did help when needed. I recommend this book; it is six hours of enlightenment added with entertainment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack of all
  • 09-22-18

Wonderfully written, superbly narrated.

An amazing first hand account of the fall of France, which must have been hard for the author to revisit.

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  • rascallybear
  • 08-20-18

An unusual and interesting account

This audio book deals with a part of WW2 we rarely hear about. A well written narrative that tells things how they were on a day-to-day, sometimes hour-by-hour basis. Thank you for publishing.

Only fly in the ointment is that the narrator didn't take the trouble to find out how to pronounce Odiham. (Odd-E-ham for goodness sake!)

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  • Chosroes
  • 05-14-18

Heroism amidst chaos

Awesome story of fighting on regardless in outclassed machines against the overwhelming
Nightmare of the collapse of. France
One of the best air memoirs I’ve ever read and unique in depicting the raf role in trying to prevent the collapse