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Fortress Britain 1940 (Hardback)

Britain's Unsung and Secret Defences on Land, Sea and in the Air


Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781636243450
Published: 31st July 2024


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Alone, unprepared and weak. These are generally the words used to describe Britain’s position in 1940, part of a narrative that has been built up ever since the end of World War II. However, the reality is very different. On land, sea and in the air, Britain was prepared. It had the most powerful navy in the world; the RAF was relatively strong, but more importantly, was operating as part of a plan and a joined-up group system that was in reality never in any real danger of being defeated; even the post-Dunkirk British Army was better armed than the post-war narrative tells us. Thees forces were backed up by the Home Guard, and thousands of men and women in secret roles ready to help fight the invasion of the country. Even if all of this had gone wrong and the Nazis had defeated Britain militarily then a separate, highly secret civilian group were ready to become active only after the occupation had started.

One word associated more than any other during this period of the Second World War is ‘Alone’ – Churchill played upon this in his speeches but in 1940, Britain had a hugely powerful empire. Although in many cases this support was thousands of miles away, the Empire and other Allies would have played a huge role had the Germans had invaded, one that has been overlooked in many accounts.

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