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Blitz: The Story of December 29, 1940

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Churchill called it his nation’s greatest trial and its finest hour. Europe had fallen to Hitler and Britain stood alone. Determined to bomb the English into submission, the German Luftwaffe attacked London nearly every night, targeting the “Square Mile,” the heart of the city and the site of some of its greatest landmarks. In this gripping historical narrative, Margaret G ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published December 4th 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2005)
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Paula Agata
Jan 01, 2012 Paula Agata rated it really liked it
The night of 29 December, 1940 is often referred to as the 'Second Great Fire of London." In this book Gaskin details the lives of Londoners across the city battling the more than 24,000 high explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiary bombs dropped by German planes.

As you may imagine with a book that takes place over the course of only 24 hours it is very detailed and can get a bit dense in parts. It is a fascinating book though, and Gaskin begins it wonderfully, setting the stage by introducing no
...more
Erin
Mar 20, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it
Fantastic piece of non-fiction. I fell in love with London when I studied abroad there and miss it so much. This book brought much of it back, and explained why the architecture in the city can be somewhat...unique. Taking the Jack the Ripper walking tour in London requires a stretch of the imagination; because the areas he prowled were virtually annialated on December 29, 1940 in one of the worst fire-bombing episodes of the London blitz. The adventures described in this book were heartbreaking ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Jun 14, 2011 Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing
An amazing book!!! The author describes the worst night of the Blitz when the Nazi bombers targeted the Square Mile (the City), the heart and soul of London. She follows the lives of several disparate characters who lived through that night of hell......what they saw, what they did, and how they reacted as fire and death rained upon them. The determination and sheer grit of the London Fire Brigade and the volunteers is almost beyond belief as they fought to save lives and the irreplaceable build ...more
Nancy
Dec 19, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This is the most amazing book. I had been looking for some time for a book about a history of the ordinary people of London during the Blitz in World War II and this is perfect.
Except for 9/11 I wonder how Americans who had never been bombed by an enemy country would have reacted and I hope it would be as the British did. They took care of business, saw it as a cause, most sheltered at night when the raids were conducted but some did not. They also kept their lives as normal as possible under
...more
Jenny T
Apr 15, 2009 Jenny T rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2009, history
A very powerful, well-written book about the London Blitz in December, 1940. More than just an account of the bombing itself, Margaret Gaskin describes the people of London as individuals, not statistics, and really gives a reader someone to cheer for.

I was most impressed by the author described, using many quotes from witnesses at the time, how ordinary citizens became heroes overnight and how the City carried on after all of the destruction and the loss of so many lives.
Shelley
May 31, 2007 Shelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This took forever to read because it is hardcover and hard to carry, and so I had it on my nightstand. It's not often a great idea to read about death and destruction right before bed.

On its own, it was clearly and very, very well written, engaging and fascinating, and made the survivors, victims and the setting come alive. It also gave me excellent context for Connie Willis's Blitz stories and novels. I am all ready for Winds of Marble Arch in October!
San
Jul 07, 2010 San rated it it was amazing
The author focuses on the worst night of bombing during the entire blitz, the night the Nazis bombed Coventry. The author has done extensive research and many first and second person interviews to piece together this night. Gaskins also gives an on-the-ground picture of all the home front guards and fire fighting personnel. This book will propel you into London as if you were there.
Heather Durne
Apr 22, 2008 Heather Durne rated it liked it
That there was a lot of fire during this period which nearly created the second great fire of London!
Nick Metcalfe
Detailed, superbly researched and well worth sticking with. This admirable book is in two parts - the context (London, the early war years and the beginning of the blitz) and the events of 29 December 1940. Gaskin captures the chaos, danger and the scale of the bombing and fires. Every now and again a book will prompt me to write a supplementary piece and that was the case with 'Blitz'. I just had to find out more about the gallantry awards made to those who acted so bravely that night (Gallantr ...more
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theduckthief
Nov 28, 2016 theduckthief rated it liked it
“The two worlds, the world of peace and the world of war, exist side by side, separated only by a few minutes of twilight.”

“Blitz!” tells the story of December 29, 1940 in London during the Blitzkreig when the city experienced one of the worst bombings of WWII. The book encompasses a wide variety of people from all walks of life with the one thread tying them together the fact that they’ve decided to stay in London despite the danger. We learn of the bravery of ordinary citizens and how importan
...more
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