Reading at War 1939–45 (Paperback)
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As in the Great War, Reading in the Second World War was a town permanently in a state of flux. So close to London, so easily pinpointed by its proximity to the Thames, with railway lines converging near the town centre and with much of the town’s industry geared up to essential war work, it was an obvious target for the German Luftwaffe when the war broke out. Knowing this, the council had set up an efficient Civil Defence system aided by government finance. Fortunately for the citizens, although they were bombed on many occasions, only one raid had any significant impact.
The book covers the daily life of a town ready for the worst, but one that continued with its daily life and just got on with its efforts to aid the war effort. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs, illustrations and human interest stories. Much of the material used has not been seen since the war so it provides a valuable and unique insight into daily life of the town.
The latest title in Pen and Sword's excellent towns and cities in world war two series, as David Bilton takes an in-depth look at how the people of Reading coped during the conflict. Interesting to read that suffering from German Air Raids was apparently minimal, and the photographs, as always, are fascinating to see. A brilliant series.Books Monthly
Read Reading at WarBerkshire Life, May 2020