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The Battle Of Britain: Myth and Reality
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The Battle Of Britain: Myth and Reality

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
From the award-winning author of The Dictators, Richard Overy's The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality is the best introduction available to a defining moment in British history.

The extraordinary struggle between British and German air forces in 1940 was one of the pivotal events of the Second World War. How close did Britain really come to invasion during this time? Wha
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 6th 2010 by Penguin (first published January 2000)
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Oct 30, 2016 Dimitri rated it liked it
The finest hour of the Spitfire gets the Marie Kondo treatment from a historian in the know. By challenging all of our assumptions, he leaves us with a clear framework for further study. As the title implies, there's a fair amount of de-mythologizing in this slender volume, yet in turn there's also some re-mythologizing through the winding turns of historiography. For example, the principal popular phrase of The Few from Churchillean rethoric is first debunked as the effectives of Fighter Comman ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Dj rated it really liked it
A short but very interesting read. This book has two major premises that are mostly in contradiction to the normal read of The Battle of Britain. The first is that at no time were the British really outnumbered by the Germans in the air. The second is that the outcome of the battle was never truly in question.

The first flies in the face of accepted understanding of the battle as well as most of the numbers that are presented when reading about it. What Overy is pointing to isn't the fact that i
Jan 14, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
An excellent myth-busting work my Richard Overy, who exposes many of the illusions that Britons seem to hold regarding the Battle of Britain. Britain did not, for example, far fewer planes and pilots that Nazi Germany during the battle (British output was actually double that of Germany throughout); the Germans did not engage in mass bombings of British cities (this came much later in the war: it was only the inaccurate bombing of the day - for which Britain was equally culpable - which led to c ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Skylar rated it really liked it
This short book provides some interesting snippets of information for the Battle of Britain enthusiast. Having read this after some of the more detailed histories on the Battle of Britain (most notably 'Battle of Britain' by Patrick Bishop), the assessments of Luftwaffe strength, tactics, mistakes and the German war industry in Overy's work provided welcome insight to give a more comprehensive understanding of the Battle of Britain. However, from this work I did not garner any major adjustments ...more
Jay Sauer
Jan 29, 2017 Jay Sauer rated it liked it
The author clearly had extensive knowledge of the Battle, but I found it difficult to follow as was constantly jumping around the timeline. I would have appreciated the book more if it discussed events in a chronological order instead.
A. Bowdoin Van Riper
Richard Overy—author of The Air War, 1939-1945 and Why the Allies Won, among other things—is, for my money, one of the sharpest and most insightful historians writing about the Second World War. His books are clearly written, crisply argued, and firmly rooted in the evidence . . . about as far from sensationalism as you can get.

This slim volume on the Battle of Britain—the attempt of the German Luftwaffe to achieve air superiority over southern England (and thus the English Channel) in the summe
Mar 25, 2012 Speesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-world-war
Richard Overy has produced another* superb book here. Not a right lot longer than I imagine the pamphlet it mentions at the end that was produced about the battle - that was the first to coin the phrase 'The Battle of Britain' - this is a concise, considered and thoroughly enjoyable snapshot of a few months in late 1940. A few months that have gone a long way to defining the fighting spirit of us British.

It does indeed strip away the myth and present the reality of what actually happened in that
May 02, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
In The Battle of Britain noted aviation historian Richard Overy has produced a concise and thorough narrative of the first attempt to stop Hitler and the expansion of German military operations during World War II. Fought from June through October 1940, Overy details the battle from every perspective and provides excellent supporting quotations from high-ranking leaders and common soldiers and citizens of both sides. From British preparations and construction a network of coastal radar stations ...more
Jedi Kitty
Short, succinct overview of the Battle of Britain. Divided into four sections that set the context for the air war, weight the respective organizations and strategic/operational thinking of the Luftwaffe and the RAF, describe the progress of the main three months of the battle, then concludes with thoughts about the factors that led to victory (he argues intel and balance of forces were the two main ones) and what victory meant.

It was short, but did a good job of both looking at the on-the-grou
Doug Nagel
Dec 26, 2014 Doug Nagel rated it really liked it
Excellent historical analysis of why Hitler was both hesitant to and ultimately unable to invade the British Isles. Explodes a number of popular misunderstandings as to why this happened. Although highly touted, the German war machine was underproducing fighters and bombers while losing them at a faster rate because of British resolve, the limited accuracy of the German bombing campaign, and the strategic efficiency of Britain's radar, air defense, and intelligence operations. Good book! I learn ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Rob rated it liked it
A reasonable overview of the battle, I wouldn't recommend this book to those unfamiliar with the overall scope of fighting (this was my first book on the subject).

Although the conclusions Overy draws seem reasonable and are probably closer to reality than the myths, the book spends little time characterizing the individuals involved in the battle, and devotes a lot of time to summarizing numbers for aircraft production, bombs dropped, pilots trained, and so on.

This is probably a good second or t
Wes Burson
Apr 11, 2013 Wes Burson rated it it was amazing
the beganing is talks about the setting with the differences in between germaany and britain like germny just wants more power and set
the middle talks about how people thinks what happened and what really happened in the battle
the end talks about how the two countrys figured stuff out and they ended in 1940s
the author uses a scary and nervious tone because its war
i liked that is about war.
and i loved it because its well written
Dec 08, 2014 Trebor rated it really liked it
A short, concise and no fluff history of the Battle of Britain. It leveled the playing field and exposed myth with facts. It took nothing away from the English peoples courage and pilots daring, and identified some misinformation on the logistics of the air battle that raged during the late fall months of 1940. Pretty much alone against the German juggernaut they took a licking but kept on ticking.
Kirk Bower
Jul 29, 2011 Kirk Bower rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Good! Looks at Churchill's brillance of using events to his advantage. Consistantly, he plays the "we are the underdog" card when in fact he realized they had the advantages. Illustrates the driving will of the british people
Aykut Ünal
Jul 12, 2014 Aykut Ünal rated it liked it
Well-structured book with the famous "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" speech reference. Besides the tactical-strategic aspects, the author successfully touches on the sociological aspects. A bit short, but with striking info.
May 05, 2010 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A persuasive, well-documented analysis of the Royal Air Forces' great struggle against the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940, when Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany. A well written, thought-provoking overview, not a blow-by-blow description.
Feb 17, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it
A concise overview of the Battle of Britain. Overy does his usual fine job of presenting a major historical event in a compact volume, bringing to light many myths about the battle and revealing the truth behind each one. An excellent introduction into Britain's "finest hour."
Very interesting description of the Battle of Britain. This was a brief study describing the build-up, battle, and endgame of the iconic battle. Overy's debunking of popular myths was interesting.
Nishant Pappireddi
Very short and sweet book with a big picture view of the Battle of Britain.
Dec 09, 2016 benoit rated it really liked it
easy to read, a mind refresher and a mind opener on some aspects of that part of History
Indah Threez Lestari
053 - 2016
Grant Kisling
An interesting overview of the Battle of Britain. I enjoyed the book, but had to rate it lower due to its short length over less than 150 pages.
Apr 07, 2014 Simon rated it liked it
Very short, not too in-depth, but a good quick account of the Battle of Britain.
Nov 22, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
A good clear and concise introduction to the Battle of Britain brought together in an easily readable volume.
Theki rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2013
Mark rated it really liked it
May 31, 2012
Barry Speer
Barry Speer rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2016
Deven rated it it was amazing
Dec 03, 2014
Narayan rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2017
Stan Bebbington
Stan Bebbington rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2015
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Richard James Overy is a British historian who has published extensively on the history of World War II and the Third Reich.
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