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With Wings of Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain
By Michael Korda

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With Wings of Eagles

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With Wings of Eagles
A History of the Battle of Britain
By Michael Korda
HarperLuxe Large Print: 2009
Distributed by Thorndike Press
ISBN: 978-0-06-171971-4
Genre: Military History - World War II

Reviewed by Herbert White - April 16, 2009

The Battle of Britain is shrouded in myth and patriotic fervor. In With Wings of Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain, Michael Korda separates the facts from the fantasy and presents a mind-blowing account of this epic battle, and the men on both sides of the conflict, who planned and executed this months-long battle. A battle in which the facts are just as amazing and inspirational as is the mythology that has grown up around it. This is a popular history of the Battle of Britain, and one that moves along with the cadence of a novel.

In the Summer of 1940, Great Britain stood alone, facing the Nazi onslaught that had already swept across Western Europe. Over that summer, the residents of Britain withstood an unceasing aerial bombardment. At the same time, in the skies above, thousands of airmen battled the Nazi foe. They knew that should they fail, the end result would have been a swift and potentially brutal invasion of Great Britain by the Nazis.

Within the pages of this thrilling book, Korda not only details the chronological events of the Battle of Britain, but also the key plays in the battle, with a heavy focus on Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, the head of RAF Fighter Command. Other key figures covered include Winston Churchill, Air Vice-Marshall Park, and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. Korda also looks at the equipment used by the British, including the Spitfires and Hurricanes, and how they measured up against Nazi weaponry. Throughout, Korda presents a balanced assessment of the battle, highlighting both the successes and the failures of the British fighters and their commanders. Korda also examines how the British prepared, militarily, for this battle, which while they did not know when it would occur, they knew that a Nazi aerial attack on Britain was inevitable. Although this book tends to focus on the British view of the Battle, Korda also provides significant coverage to the Nazi side of the battle, including information on how the Nazis planned to wage the battle, their goals, and the methodologies and equipment they used to wage this fight.

From beginning to end, With Wings of Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain is an enthralling book. Korda's account is written in a fast-paced narrative style that effortlessly chronicles the facts surrounding the battle, without getting bogged down in mind-numbing details. This book will make you feel as if you are fighting along with Brylcreem Boys or any of the other brave young men who fought in the epic Battle of Britain, and who stood as the last bulwark against a Nazi invasion of Britain.

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