Drawing material from the Imperial War Museum's extensive aural archive, Joshua Levine brings together voices from both sides of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain to give us a unique, complete and compelling picture of this turbulent time.
In June 1940, British citizens prepared for an imminent German onslaught. Hitler's troops had overrun Holland, Belgium and France in quick succession, and the British people anticipated an invasion would soon be upon them. From July to October, they watched the Battle of Britain play out in the skies above them, aware that the result would decide their fate. Over the next nine months, the Blitz killed more than 43,000 civilians. For a year, the citizens of Britain were effectively front-line soldiers in a battle which united the country against a hated enemy.
We hear from the soldiers, airmen, fire-fighters, air-raid wardens and civilians, people in the air and on the ground, on both sides of the battle, giving us a thrilling account of Britain under siege. With first-hand testimonies from those involved in Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, Black Saturday on 7th September 1940 when the Luftwaffe began the Blitz, to its climax on the 10th May 1941, this is the definitive oral history of a period when Britain came closer to being overwhelmed by the enemy than at any other time in modern history.
Joshua Levine practised as a barrister for several years before becoming an actor and writer. His plays have been performed on the London stage and on BBC Radio 4, and he has scripted a television documentary about eighteenth-century London for BBC2. He was the primary researcher for Forgotten Voices of the Great War and Forgotten Voices of the Second World War. This is his first book.