Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain

Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940

James Holland

St. Martin's Press




A groundbreaking new account of the Battle of Britain from acclaimed historian James Holland

The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread. Historian James Holland has now written the definitive account of those months based on extensive new research from around the world including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the battle. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could survive; but, thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the defiance of a new Prime Minister, Britain refused to give in. From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, slaughter by U-boats in an icy Atlantic and dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this epic World War II story in a fresh and compelling voice.


THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN (Chapter 1)First Flight
SUNDAY, 5 MAY 1940, a little after two that afternoon. A warm, sunny day over much of Britain, but above Drem aerodrome, a busy grass airfield some twenty miles east of Edinburgh, a deep blue sky...


Praise for The Battle of Britain

“This massive volume is informative, enthralling, and moving--often all three at once...Genuinely brilliant.” —Booklist

“Thoroughly researched yet written in a relaxed, enjoyable style.” —History Book Review

“...Holland is a young historian who has forged a considerable reputation, especially for his intimate human portraits of the men who fought on both sides of the war...this is a notable account of an epic human experience, told with the informality and enthusiasm that distinguish Holland's work...If the story is familiar, Holland tells it with authority and exuberant panache.” —Max Hastings, author of Winston's War, in The Sunday Times UK

“The 70th anniversary of the battle...has prompted a surge of new books and the republication of several old ones. Among the best is the comprehensive new study by James Holland... Holland's book has all the hallmarks of his previous successes: the gripping narrative; the ability to recreate the intensity of combat, the breadth of research; and the authoritative historical judgments.” —The Spectator UK

“The novelty of Holland's excellent book...lies in its extended time frame, and also in its use of first-hand sources from both sides of the conflict, and its assertion that the battle was not won by the RAF alone. Holland prefers his history to be about people, and his dazzling cast of characters includes civilians and servicemen, men and women, young and old.” —The Telegraph UK

In the Press

Read the Kirkus Review of THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN Five Months that Changed History: May-October 1940. Jam-packed account of the moment in 1940 when Britain stood alone against the Nazi menace. - Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

James Holland

JAMES HOLLAND is a British historian and journalist. He is the author of Italy's Sorrow and multiple other histories. He lives in England.

James Holland

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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