From the comfortable distance of seven decades, it is quite easy to view the victory of the Allies over Hitler's Germany as inevitable. But in 1940 Great Britain's defeat loomed perilously close, and no other nation stepped up to confront the Nazi threat. In this cogently argued book, Robin Prior delves into the documents of the time - war diaries, combat reports, Home Security's daily files, and much more - to uncover how Britain endured a year of menacing crises. The book reassesses key events of 1940 - crises that were recognized as such at the time and others that were not fully appreciated. Prior examines Neville Chamberlain's government, Churchill's opponents, the collapse of France, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz. He looks critically at the position of the United States before Pearl Harbor and at Roosevelt's response to the crisis. Prior concludes that the nation was saved through a combination of political leadership, British Expeditionary Force determination and skill, Royal Air Force and Navy efforts to return soldiers to the homeland, and the determination of the people to fight on "in spite of all terror."
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Very detailed; a bit dry in spots
The topic itself.
Mr Prior provided the behind the scenes background to the history we (should have) learned in school (not sure schools teach much of anything today!) regarding the events leading up to WWII, the "phony war", and the Battle of Britain. Fascinating to learn about the mistakes made by the Nazi and Allied generals, Pollyanna-ish assumptions of Chamberlain and his appeasement cabinet regarding Hitler (rather like the assumptions of a current administration concerning Iran/nuclear deal), and the real impact of German air raids on British factory output and civilian morale. Much of the book, however, contained extremely detailed lists (for example, RAF estimates of "kills" for each sortie flown). In a real book, this might have been in a footnote and therefore tolerable. On Audible, it became rather dull and interfered with the progress of the story linel.
He had a pleasant voice, with appropriate inflection.
The interplay between Churchill and Roosevelt - and Roosevelt's consistent hedging/waffling/refusal to help the British. Not what we were taught in school (which taught that FDR was a brilliant god who saved the USA from the Depression and raced to the assistance of the British).
Military enthusiasts and war gamers may derive a lot out of the detailed description of Nazi/Allied troop actions during May 1940.
- Sophy0075 "bluestocking"