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Britain's War

Volume 2, A New World, 1942-1947
Narrated by: Ric Jerrom
Length: 49 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.7 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Summary

Part two of Daniel Todman's epic history of the Second World War opens with one of the greatest disasters in British military history - the fall of Singapore in February 1942. Unlike the aftermath of Dunkirk, there was no redeeming narrative available here - Britain had been defeated by a far smaller Japanese force in her grandly proclaimed, invincible Asian 'fortress'.

The unique skill of Daniel Todman's history lies in its never losing sight of the interconnectedness of the British experience. The agony of Singapore, for example, is seen through the eyes of its inhabitants, of its defenders, of Churchill's cabinet, and of ordinary people at home. Each stage of the war, from the nadir of early 1942 to the great series of victories in 1944-5, and on to Indian independence, is described both as it was understood at the time and in the light of the very latest historical research.

Britain's War is a triumph of narrative, empathy and research, as gripping in its handling of individual witnesses to the war - those doomed to struggle with bombing, rationing, exhausting work and above all the absence of millions of family members - as of the gigantic military, social, technological and economic forces that swept the conflict along. It is the definitive account of a drama which reshaped our country.

©2020 Daniel Todman (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"A historian of notable gifts." (Max Hastings, Sunday Times)

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Answers the question of why Churchill lost the peace

Excellent detailed examination of the social and political happenings alongside the more familiar war story . Very revealing and honest description of the true impact of WW2 on Britain and the subsequent collapse of our Empire

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great listen really got into it

it takes you into the back stage goings on of the war years very very entertaining listen

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  • dell992
  • 07-03-20

Practically everything you want to know

I am no writer so I will keep my review simple. Writing style just as good as volume one. Better integration of surveys into overall narrative Focuses more on the operational side of warfare Describes well all the political machinations that are the backdrop of every major event Has a noticeable leftist bent to his occasional commentary The post war chapters are the best part in my opinion

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  • Meg C.
  • 09-10-20

Summary of author’s view : “Churchill was inept”

Todman did an excellent job of providing details of inner political machinations and the domestic policy planning for post-war Britain. It felt, however, this was about furthering a particular view of Churchill, one that may be correct. The author could have provided more evidence rather than simple selective editing of events. The narrator was generally good, but his Churchill imitation was grating and followed one sentence pattern, no matter the sentence or context.