Clive Ponting 1940: Myth and Reality

ISBN 13: 9781566630368

1940: Myth and Reality

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It was the year of the glorious Battle of Britain, of the heroic evacuation of Dunkirk. It was the time when the mighty British empire declared its intention to fight the Nazis―alone if necessary―to the bitter end. It was, as Churchill dubbed it, Britain's "Finest Hour." In 1940: Myth and Reality, Clive Ponting reveals that it was nothing of the sort. Britain was broke in 1940 and utterly dependent on the United States for economic aid. The government fabricated German casualty figures after the Battle of Britain, suppressed knowledge of the complete fiasco that led to Dunkirk, and actually tried secretly to sue for peace that year. The British people were at best grimly resigned to the war; at worst they suffered appalling privations. Without denigrating the heroism of individuals, Mr. Ponting offers a startling account of the ineptitude and propaganda that marked much of 1940: Britain's stormy relations with France, its bizarre attempts to force a united Ireland, and the unpopularity of Winston Churchill. While he made rousing speeches in the House of Commons, Churchill rarely broadcast to the nation: his stirring "we shall fight on the beaches" speech was in fact broadcast by the actor who played Larry the Lamb on Children's Hour.

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About the Author:

Clive Ponting, formerly in the British civil service, specializes in British politics and contemporary history.

From Publishers Weekly:

In a radical new look at Britain's "finest hour," Ponting ( The Right to Know ) reviews the mythology that grew up around the dramatic events of 1940 (Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, Churchill's inspiring leadership) and concludes that it was also the most painful year in British history. Due to an overextended empire, too many enemies and too few allies, and inadequate military, industrial and economic resources, the outlook for England was bleak indeed as the Germans threatened a cross-Channel invasion. As the country's strategic position collapsed, the only way to avoid a humiliating compromise peace with Hitler was to beg for major assistance from the United States. But the Americans drove a hard bargain, and once U.S. material began to flow eastward across the Atlantic, Washington used its financial power ruthlessly to keep Britain in a state of dependence through the rest of the war. Britain's contribution to final victory, in the author's harsh view, was marginal. The country's great achievement was to survive the year 1940 and preserve for the Americans a base from which to launch the D-Day invasion of the Continent. Ponting's argument is compelling, his reasoning sure, his conclusions jarring.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780929587684: 1940: Myth and Reality (Library of Social Science; 618)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0929587685 ISBN 13:  9780929587684
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, 1991
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9780241126684: 1940: Myth and Reality

Hamish..., 1990
Hardcover

9780747407287: 1940 Myth and Reality

Cardinal, 1990
Softcover

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Book Description Ivan R Dee, Inc, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was the year of the glorious Battle of Britain, of the heroic evacuation of Dunkirk. It was the time when the mighty British empire declared its intention to fight the Nazis-alone if necessary-to the bitter end. It was, as Churchill dubbed it, Britain s Finest Hour. In 1940: Myth and Reality, Clive Ponting reveals that it was nothing of the sort. Britain was broke in 1940 and utterly dependent on the United States for economic aid. The government fabricated German casualty figures after the Battle of Britain, suppressed knowledge of the complete fiasco that led to Dunkirk, and actually tried secretly to sue for peace that year. The British people were at best grimly resigned to the war; at worst they suffered appalling privations. Without denigrating the heroism of individuals, Mr. Ponting offers a startling account of the ineptitude and propaganda that marked much of 1940: Britain s stormy relations with France, its bizarre attempts to force a united Ireland, and the unpopularity of Winston Churchill. While he made rousing speeches in the House of Commons, Churchill rarely broadcast to the nation: his stirring we shall fight on the beaches speech was in fact broadcast by the actor who played Larry the Lamb on Children s Hour. Seller Inventory # AAC9781566630368

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Book Description Ivan R Dee, Inc, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was the year of the glorious Battle of Britain, of the heroic evacuation of Dunkirk. It was the time when the mighty British empire declared its intention to fight the Nazis-alone if necessary-to the bitter end. It was, as Churchill dubbed it, Britain s Finest Hour. In 1940: Myth and Reality, Clive Ponting reveals that it was nothing of the sort. Britain was broke in 1940 and utterly dependent on the United States for economic aid. The government fabricated German casualty figures after the Battle of Britain, suppressed knowledge of the complete fiasco that led to Dunkirk, and actually tried secretly to sue for peace that year. The British people were at best grimly resigned to the war; at worst they suffered appalling privations. Without denigrating the heroism of individuals, Mr. Ponting offers a startling account of the ineptitude and propaganda that marked much of 1940: Britain s stormy relations with France, its bizarre attempts to force a united Ireland, and the unpopularity of Winston Churchill. While he made rousing speeches in the House of Commons, Churchill rarely broadcast to the nation: his stirring we shall fight on the beaches speech was in fact broadcast by the actor who played Larry the Lamb on Children s Hour. Seller Inventory # AAC9781566630368

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