European History Books

  • FTEH
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    A companion to the brilliant Channel 4 series of the same name, The Freedom Trails: Escaping Hitler tells the incredible story of some of the brave individuals who managed to escape Nazi Germany.

    Over 5,000 British, Commonwealth and American servicemen made the journey over the Pyrenees, the Slovenian mountains and the Italian alps and many died en route. However, the brave men and women of the resistance still managed to defy the odds and keep the routes open.

    Among those you'll read about are Blondie Haslar, the leader of the Cockleshell Heroes, US airman Chuck Yaeger (whose story was retold in The Right Stuff) and Andree de Jongh, a young woman who risked her life to smuggle men through occupied France and survived being sent to two concentration camps.

    Based on in-depth research and interviews with survivors as well as his own experiences walking the trails, broadcaster and former Royal Marine Monty Halls book is dramatic and gripping from first page to last.
  • SPIG
    (1)
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    BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the story of MI14 and the Secret Pigeon Service during the Second World War for the first time in this compelling read.

    Using extensive original research and declassified documents, he reveals the inner workings of 'Columba' - an operation that saw 16,000 plucky homing pigeons dropped in an arc from Bourdeaux to Copenhagen in an effort to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.

    The messages came flooding back from France, the Netherlands and Belgium - all written on tiny pieces of rice paper that has been tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - and these authentic missives ranged from the comic to the tragic and occasionally invaluable, giving the British Intelligence advance notice of German troop movements, weapons and more.

    Corera also looks at the people behind this mission, not many of whom were trained agents or experienced in spying. He focuses in particular on the Leopold Vindictive network, a small group of Belgian villagers - led by priest Joseph Raskin - who were always prepared to risk everything. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage that looks at a quirky and quarrelsome band of spy masters and their unique operations.
  • WHKG
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    As the man in charge at the time the nation entered the Civil War, Charles I's reign is one of the most dramatic in history. However, Charles as a man was an elusive individual. He is often regarded as weak and his wife, Henrietta Maria, as spoilt but Leanda de Lisle's thoroughly researched biography reveals him to be principled and brave but also blinkered.

    Charles I is revealed to be a complex man who pays the price for bringing radical change; Henrietta Maria a warrior queen and political player as impressive as any Tudor. This book also focuses on the cousins who befriended and betrayed the royal couple - the peacocking Henry Holland, whose brother engineered the king's fall and the 'last Boleyn girl' Lucy Carlisle.

    This is an almost unbelievable story that ties in everything from populist politicians and religious war to a new media and reshaping of the nation where women vied with men for power.
  • Liza Picard History Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407250991
    LZPC
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    • Just £3.00 per book
    Covering the Victorian and Elizabethan eras alongside Dr. Johnson's time, these three books from Liza Picard provide a vivid social history of London through the ages.

    Victorian London covers everything from rag-gatherers to royalty and fish knives to freemasons as it explains how ordinary people lived in this important time; Elizabeth's London starts by focusing on the River Thames and its role in the city's history. It then moves on to describe the streets, houses and gardens that were popular during this time.

    Dr. Johnson's London focuses on the years between 1740 and 1770, when the gin craze was just starting to gain ground. She also looks back at the clothes, hobbies, houses and etiquette of the era.

    Format: Paperback
  • QCAW
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    Queens of the Conquest is the first in a series of books that finds popular historical author Alison Weir telling the story of England's medieval queens.

    Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conquerer in his invasion of England in 1066 and ending with Empress Maud's turbulent reign, this book reveals the five Norman queens to be hugely influential figures in history. It also reveals how their lives were interconnected...

    Packed with tragedy, drama and moments of comedy, this book touches on subjects ranging from love to murder and war to betrayal. It's a fascinating page-turner that reveals all about the lives of England's queens after the Norman Conquest.
  • MPWR
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    A very poignant and powerful book, Maps of War is a visual survey of how conflict was recorded and planned. It uses archive maps to reveal how warfare and documentation has changed through the centuries.

    Covering the history of military mapping, the book looks at beginning and what impact the invention of printing and introduction of gunpowder had. In the 17th century, military commanders and strategists started to document wars by way of illustration.

    In the 18th century, they started to use maps to chart progress. This chapter reflects the spread of European power and transoceanic conflict and focuses on the American war of Independence. The book then moves on to the 19th and 20th centuries, covering everything from the American Civil War to the World War, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
  • AOHYP
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    Michael Pye's The Edge of the World is an epic adventure: from the Vikings to the Enlightenment, from barbaric outpost to global centre, it tells the amazing story of northern Europe's transformation by sea. "An utterly beguiling journey into the dark ages of the north sea. A complete revelation...Pye writes like a dream. Magnificent." (Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps). This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money. We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. The water was dangerous, but it was far easier than struggling over land; so it was the sea that brought people together. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information. The seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled. With them they brought new tastes and technologies - books, clothes, manners, paintings and machines. In this dazzling historical adventure, we return to a time that is largely forgotten and watch as the modern world is born. We see the spread of money and how it paved the way for science. We see how plague terrorised even the rich and transformed daily life for the poor. We watch as the climate changed and coastlines shifted, people adapted and towns flourished. We see the arrival of the first politicians, artists, lawyers: citizens. From Viking raiders to Mongol hordes, Frisian fishermen to Hanseatic hustlers, travelling as far west as America and as far east as Byzantium, we see how the life and traffic of the seas changed everything. Drawing on an astonishing breadth of learning and packed with human stories and revelations, this is the epic drama of how we came to be who we are. "A closely-researched and fascinating characterisation of the richness of life and the underestimated interconnections of the peoples all around the medieval and early modern North Sea. A real page-turner." (Chris Wickham, author of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000). "Elegant writing and extraordinary scholarship...Miraculous." (Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of Periodic Tales and Anatomies). "Splendid. A heady mix of social, economic, and intellectual history, written in an engaging style. It offers a counterpoint to the many studies of the Mediterranean, arguing for the importance of the North Sea. Exciting, fun, and informative." (Michael Prestwich, Professor of History, Durham University). "Bristling, wide-ranged and big-themed...at its most meaningful, history involves a good deal of art and storytelling. Pye's book is full of both." (Russell Shorto, New York Times). "Beautifully written and thoughtfully researched...for anyone, like this reviewer, who is tired of medieval history as a chronicle of kings and kingdoms, knights and ladies, monks and heretics, The Edge of the World provides a welcome respite." (Prof Patrick J Geary, Wall Street Journal).
  • ASPUB
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    The startling history of the Chernobyl disaster by Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the Nobel prize in literature 2015. A new translation based on the revised text. On 26 April 1986, at 1.23am, a series of explosions shook the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Flames lit up the sky and radiation escaped to contaminate the land and poison the people for years to come. While officials tried to hush up the accident, Svetlana Alexievich spent years collecting testimonies from survivors - clean-up workers, residents, firefighters, resettlers, widows, orphans - crafting their voices into a haunting oral history of fear, anger and uncertainty, but also dark humour and love. A chronicle of the past and a warning for our nuclear future, Chernobyl Prayer shows what it is like to bear witness, and remember in a world that wants you to forget.
  • ANHJG
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    'Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June, 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.
  • ARYHK
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    The offensive on the Somme took place between July and November 1916 and is perhaps the most iconic battle of the Great War. It was there that Kitchener's famous 'Pals' Battalions were first sent into action en masse and it was a battlefield where many of the dreams and aspirations of a nation, hopeful of victory, were agonizingly dashed. Because of its legendary status, the Somme has been the subject of many books, and many more will come out next year. However, nothing has ever been published on the Battle in which the soldiers' own photographs have been used to illustrate both the campaign's extraordinary comradeship and its carnage.
  • AQXUU
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    When Chris McDougall stumbled across the story of Churchill's 'dirty tricksters', a motley crew of English poets and academics who helped resist the Nazi invasion of Crete, he knew he was on the track of something special. To beat the odds, the tricksters-starving, aging, outnumbered-tapped into an ancient style of fitness: the lost art of heroism. They listened to their instincts, replaced calories with stored bodily fat and used their fascia, the network of tissue which criss-crosses the body, to catapult themselves to superhuman strength and endurance. Soon McDougall was in the middle of a modern fitness revolution taking place everywhere from Parisian parkour routes to state-of-the-art laboratories, and based on the know-how of Shanghai street-fighters and Wild West gunslingers. Just as Born to Run got runners off the treadmill and into nature, Natural Born Heroes will inspire casual athletes to dump the gym membership for cross-training, mud runs and free-running.
  • AADUR
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    'As though walking through a deep dream, I saw steel helmets approaching through the craters. They seemed to sprout from the fire-harrowed soil like some iron harvest'. "Storm of Steel" is one of the greatest works to emerge from the catastrophe of the First World War. A memoir of astonishing power, savagery and ashen lyricism, it illuminates like no other book the horrors but also the fascination of total war, presenting the conflict through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. As an account of the terrors of the Western Front and of the sickening allure that made men keep fighting on for four long years, "Storm of Steel" has no equal.
  • AADTI
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    'Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it'. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in "Homage to Catalonia". Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode.
  • AMXQZ
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    Awarded The Prix Du Jury Des Grands Prix De La Fondation Napoleon 2014 From Andrew Roberts, author of the Sunday Times bestseller, The Storm of War, this is the definitive modern biography of Napoleon. Napoleon Bonaparte lived one of the most extraordinary of all human lives. In the space of just twenty years, from October 1795 when as a young artillery captain he cleared the streets of Paris of insurrectionists, to his final defeat at the (horribly mismanaged) battle of Waterloo in June 1815, Napoleon transformed France and Europe. After seizing power in a coup d'etat he ended the corruption and incompetence into which the Revolution had descended. In a series of dazzling battles he reinvented the art of warfare; in peace, he completely remade the laws of France, modernized her systems of education and administration, and presided over a flourishing of the beautiful 'Empire style' in the arts. The impossibility of defeating his most persistent enemy, Great Britain, led him to make draining and ultimately fatal expeditions into Spain and Russia, where half a million Frenchmen died and his Empire began to unravel. More than any other modern biographer, Andrew Roberts conveys Napoleon's tremendous energy, both physical and intellectual, and the attractiveness of his personality, even to his enemies. He has walked 53 of Napoleon's 60 battlefields, and has absorbed the gigantic new French edition of Napoleon's letters, which allows a complete re-evaluation of this exceptional man. He overturns many received opinions, including the myth of a great romance with Josephine: she took a lover immediately after their marriage, and, as Roberts shows, he had three times as many mistresses as he acknowledged. Of the climactic Battle of Leipzig in 1813, as the fighting closed around them, French sergeant-major wrote, 'No-one who has not experienced it can have any idea of the enthusiasm that burst forth among the half-starved, exhausted soldiers when the Emperor was there in person. If all were demoralised and he appeared, his presence was like an electric shock. All shouted "Vivel' Empereur!" and everyone charged blindly into the fire.' The reader of this biography will understand why this was so. Andrew Roberts is a biographer and historian of international renown whose books include Salisbury: Victorian Titan (winner, the Wolfson Prize for History); Masters and Commanders; and The Storm of War, which reached No. 2 on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Roberts is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Literature and Arts. He appears regularly on British television and radio and writes for the Sunday Telegraph, Spectator, Literary Review, Mail on Sunday and Daily Telegraph.
  • AREGU
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    Despite his status as the most despised political figure in history, there have only been four serious biographies of Hitler since the 1930s. Even more surprisingly, his biographers have been more interested in his rise to power and his methods of leadership than in Hitler the person: some have even declared that the Fuhrer had no private life. Yet to render Hitler as a political animal with no personality to speak of, as a man of limited intelligence and poor social skills, fails to explain the spell that he cast not only on those close to him but on the German people as a whole. In the first volume of this monumental biography, Volker Ullrich sets out to correct our perception of the Fuhrer. While charting in detail Hitler's life from his childhood to the eve of the Second World War against the politics of the times, Ullrich unveils the man behind the public persona: his charming and repulsive traits, his talents and weaknesses, his deep-seated insecurities and murderous passions. Drawing on a wealth of previously neglected or unavailable sources, this magisterial study provides the most rounded portrait of Hitler to date. Ullrich renders the Fuhrer not as a psychopath but as a master of seduction and guile - and it is perhaps the complexity of his character that explains his enigmatic grip on the German people more convincingly than the cliched image of the monster. This definitive biography will forever change the way we look at the man who took the world into the abyss.
  • ASOGG
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    A Sunday Times bestseller - Five women. One house. One extraordinary history. From its construction in the 1660s to its heyday in the 1960s, Cliveden played host to a dynasty of remarkable and powerful women. Anna Maria, Elizabeth, Augusta, Harriet, and Nancy were five ladies who, over the course of three centuries, shaped British society through their beauty, personalities, and political influence. Restoration and revolution, aristocratic rise and fall, world war and cold war form the extraordinary backdrop against which their stories unfold. An addictive history of the period and an intimate exploration of the timeless relationships between people and place, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a story of sex, power and politics, and the ways in which exceptional women defy the expectations of their time.
  • ARYXN
    Mary Beard
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    Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome. SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.
  • ARGZI
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    They gave us democracy, philosophy, poetry, rational science, the joke. They built the Parthenon and the Library of Alexandria. They wrote the timeless myths of Odysseus and Oedipus, and the histories of Leonidas' three hundred Spartans and Alexander the Great. But who were the ancient Greeks? And what was it that enabled them to achieve so much? Here, Edith Hall gives us a revelatory way of viewing this geographically scattered people, visiting different communities at various key moments during twenty centuries of ancient history. Identifying ten unique traits central to the widespread ancient Greeks, Hall unveils a civilization of incomparable richness and a people of astounding complexity - and explains how they made us who we are today. "A thoroughly readable and illuminating account of this fascinating people...This excellent book makes us admire and like the ancient Greeks equally." (Independent). "A worthy and lively introduction to one of the two groups of ancient peoples who really formed the western world." (Sunday Times). "Throughout, Hall exemplifies her subjects' spirit of inquiry, their originality and their open-mindedness." (Daily Telegraph). "A book that is both erudite and splendidly entertaining." (Financial Times).
  • ANIJP
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    This is a new updated edition. Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Did the French write "God Save the Queen"? Non! But that's what they claim. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066...It features new annoyances - both historical and recent - inflicted on the French, including Napoleon's "banned" chamber pot, Louis XIV's painful operation, Anglo-French jibes during the 2012 London Olympics, French niggles about William and Kate's royal wedding, and much more ...
  • ARVKO
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    'As much as anything, World War I turned on the fate of Ukraine'. The decision to go to war in 1914 had catastrophic consequences for Russia. The result was revolution, civil war and famine in 1917-20, followed by decades of communist rule. Dominic Lieven's powerful and original book, based on exhaustive and unprecedented study in Russian and many other foreign archives, explains why this suicidal decision was made and explores the world of the men who made it, thereby consigning their entire class to death or exile and making their country the victim of a uniquely terrible political experiment under Lenin and Stalin. Dominic Lieven is a Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College,Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy. His book Russia Against Napoleon (Penguin) won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Prize of the Fondation Napoleon for the best foreign work on the Napoleonic era.
  • ASMPL
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    From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no other. For the past 140 years, Germany has been the central power in continental Europe. Twenty-five years ago a new German state came into being. How much do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now understand themselves? Neil MacGregor argues that uniquely for any European country, no coherent, over-arching narrative of Germany's history can be constructed, for in Germany both geography and history have always been unstable. Its frontiers have constantly floated. Konigsberg, home to the greatest German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, is now Kaliningrad, Russia; Strasbourg, in whose cathedral Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany's greatest writer, discovered the distinctiveness of his country's art and history, now lies within the borders of France. For most of the five hundred years covered by this book Germany has been composed of many separate political units, each with a distinct history. And any comfortable national story Germans might have told themselves before 1914 was destroyed by the events of the following thirty years. German history may be inherently fragmented, but it contains a large number of widely shared memories, awarenesses and experiences; examining some of these is the purpose of this book. Beginning with the fifteenth-century invention of modern printing by Gutenberg, MacGregor chooses objects and ideas, people and places which still resonate in the new Germany - porcelain from Dresden and rubble from its ruins, Bauhaus design and the German sausage, the crown of Charlemagne and the gates of Buchenwald - to show us something of its collective imagination. There has never been a book about Germany quite like it.
  • BRKMK
    • £120.00
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    Bella Italia Journey back to early 20th-century Italy "You may have the universe," composer Giuseppe Verdi once said, "if I can have Italy." Back in the mid-19th century, Verdi's emotive language appealed to the patriotic sentiments of an emergent nation state. After decades of struggle and bloodshed, the movement known as Risorgimento triumphed with the 1861 proclamation of Italian Unity, assembling disparate kingdoms, territories, and borders that had hitherto been ruled by Austria, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Papal States. Today, Verdi's call to Italy resounds not only for its native patriots, but for the millions around the world who look upon this peninsula shaped like a shoe and delight in a land of light, art, and sensuality. This collection is a fascinating visual document of Italy at the turn of the century, gathering photochromes and vintage colored prints. From coast to coast, through classical sites and Renaissance wonders, down beguiling Venetian waterways and along the dappled shores of the Amalfi coast, each evocative image impresses as much for its color clarity as for the vivid evocation of times gone by. As if in an enchanted dream, we walk an empty and dusklit St. Mark's Square, stroll the shady Uffizi courtyard alone, and find just a few horse carts pulled up in front of the Pantheon in Rome. In place of cameras, guides, and tour groups, we find ordinary traders and laborers, quiet street scenes, and humble settlements. As sunlit charms and historic reality combine, the result is an unrivaled record of this young nation that fought hard to exist, and went on to win the world's hearts.
  • BCANN
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    Raymond Carr pioneered a new way of looking at modern Spanish history, releasing Spaniards form the shackles of Romantic myth and allowing them to see their nation as a country like any other, rather than one set apart from the rest of Europe. Born in humble circumstances, he journeyed through a fascinating period in twentieth-century British history, vaulting the class barriers that were still very much in place in the England of his day and turning himself into an interested and acutely observant member of the exclusive and decadent world of the late aristocracy, even becoming a keen huntsman. Familiar with the intricate and secret highways and byways of Oxford, both as an undergraduate at Christ Church and, later, as a Fellow of All Souls and of New College, he eventually became Warden of St Antony's. Throughout his Oxford life, he met and befriended some of the most important, eccentric, and charismatic intellectual figures of the entire twentieth century. But he was also on first-name terms with aristocrats, prime ministers, artists, spies, the foremost U.S. players in the Cold War, and military leaders in Francoist Spain. This biography tells a story that is in some ways stranger than fiction. By tracing the various facets of Raymond Carr's life and personality -- as intellectual, traveller, social chameleon, academic mover and shaker, lover of politics, and unrepentant enquirer into anything and everything to do with life and human history -- the author builds a masterly picture of the society into which he was born, the politics and culture of a England that is now lost to us, and the work of one of England's major Hispanists. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.
  • BAEPI
    • £48.00
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    Since it was first published in 1989, Men of the Battle of Britain has become a standard reference book for academics and researchers interested in the Battle of Britain. Copies are also owned by many with purely an armchair interest in the events of 1940. The book records the service details of the airmen who took part in the Battle of Britain in considerable detail. Where known, postings and their dates are included, as well as promotions, decorations and successes claimed flying against the enemy. There is also much personal detail, often including dates and places of birth, civilian occupations, dates of death and place of burial or, for those with no known grave, place of commemoration. There are many wartime head-and-shoulders photographs. Inevitably the high achievers who survived tend to have the longest entries, but those who were killed very quickly, sometimes even on their first sortie, are given equal status. The 2015 third edition will include new names and corrected spellings, as well as many new photographs. Plenty of the entries have been extended with freshly acquired information.The stated nationalities of some of the airmen have been re-examined and, for example, one man always considered to be Australian is now known to have been Irish.