Book Review: The First Day of the Blitz, September 7, 1940


by Peter Stansky

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 212. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $15.00 paper. ISBN:0300143354

An excellent work on "Black Saturday" -- September 7, 1940 , the night on which the Luftwaffe initiated its sustained air campaign against Britain in preparation for an invasion. 

Prof. Stansky, formerly of Stanford, not only gives us a detailed account of the two massive German air raids on London that night, and the response, but gives us a look at the back-ground to the events, from the rising awareness of the threat of the bomber to the surprisingly extensive preparations for civil defense (clearly, Britain is not always asleep), and then looks at the long-term effects of the Blitz. 

The book concludes with a thoughtful essay titled, "The Myth, the Reality," which examines the image and influence of the Blitz in wartime and post-war perception. The First Day of the Blitz is well written, and would make profitable reading for anyone with even a passing interest in history.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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