Related to: 'Operation Sealion'

John Murray

Hurricane

Leo McKinstry
Authors:
Leo McKinstry
John Murray

Lancaster

Leo McKinstry
Authors:
Leo McKinstry
John Murray

Spitfire

Leo McKinstry
Authors:
Leo McKinstry

In June 1940, the German Army had brought the rest of Europe to its knees. 'Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world will move forward into broad, sunlit uplands,' said Churchill. The future of Europe depended on Britain. A self-confident Herman Göring thought that it would be only a matter of weeks before his planes had forced Britain to surrender. The courage, resourcefulness and brilliant organisation of the RAF were to prove him wrong. By late September 1940, the RAF had proved invincible, thanks to the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. It exceeded anything that any other air force possessed. RJ Mitchell, a shy and almost painfully modest engineer, was the genius behind the Spitfire. On the 5th March 1936, following its successful maiden flight, a legend was born. Prize-winning historian Leo McKinstry's vivid history of the Spitfire brings together a rich cast of characters and first hand testimonies. It is a tale full of drama and heroism, of glory and tragedy, with the main protagonist the remarkable plane that played a crucial role in saving Britain.

Brett Westwood

Brett Westwood is an award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist. He presented the radio series of Natural Histories. His other acclaimed radio series range from Tweet of the Day (winner of Best Radio Series 2014) to Brett Westwood's Diaries. He is also a consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

Chris Ryan

Former SAS corporal and the only man to escape death or capture during the Bravo Two Zero operation in the 1991 Gulf War, Chris Ryan turned to writing thrillers to tell the stories the Official Secrets Act stops him putting in his non-fiction. His novels have gone on to inspire the Sky One series Strike Back. Born near Newcastle in 1961, Chris Ryan joined the SAS in 1984. During his ten years there he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris Ryan was the only member of an eight-man unit to escape from Iraq, where three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his experiences in the bestseller The One That Got Away, which was adapted for screen, and since then has written three other works of non-fiction, over twenty bestselling novels and a series of childrens' books.

Clare Morrall

Clare Morrall's first novel, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, was published in 2003 and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize that year. She has since published the novels Natural Flights of the Human Mind, The Language of Others, The Man Who Disappeared, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read in 2010, The Roundabout Man and After the Bombing.Born in Exeter, Clare Morrall now lives in Birmingham. She works as a music teacher, and has two daughters.

Cornelius Ryan

Cornelius Ryan was born in 1920 in Dublin. He covered World War II from the frontline, attached to General Patton's army until the end of the war in 1945. He emigrated to the USA in 1947 and became one of the most important and respected war journalists of his generation, writing critically acclaimed articles and books until his death in 1976.

Donald Sturrock

Donald Sturrock grew up in England and South America and, after leaving Oxford University, joined BBC where he worked as writer, producer and director. He has made more than 30 documentaries, and is the author of critically acclaimed biography of Roald Dahl, Storyteller.

Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on April 24th 1900 in Wells, Somerset, where her father was Principal of Wells Theological College. Although she had privately intended writing as a career, her parents insisted she taught handicrafts in Oxford. She began writing in her spare time and her first novel ISLAND MAGIC, set in Guernsey, was a great success here and in America. GREEN DOLPHIN COUNTRY (1944) projected her to fame, netting a Literary Guild Award and a special prize of £30,000 from Louis B. Mayer of MGM before being filmed.In her later years Elizabeth Goudge settled in Henley-on-Thames. She died on April 1st, 1984.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine was raised in Oxfordshire by English parents from Grimsby and Scottish grandparents from Paisley, and he lives in Cornwall and works in London. He's the lead writer for BBC Anglophenia (specializing in Doctor Who) and has worked as a music journalist for Radio 1, Radio 2, Top of the Pops and the NME. Visit www.stuffbritslike.com @csi_popmusic

Jennifer Teege

Jennifer Teege has worked in advertising since 1999 and lives in Germany with her husband and two sons. In her twenties, she studied for four years in Israel, where she learned fluent Hebrew. A mixed-race woman raised by adoptive German parents, she was appalled to discover her biological family's Nazi history. Her compelling true story is stranger than fiction.

Jo McMillan

Jo McMillan grew up in the UK and has lived and worked in China and Malaysia. She is currently based in Berlin. Motherland is her first novel.

John Grisham

John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade, specialising in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987.His next novel, The Firm, spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991. Since then, he has written one novel a year, including The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury.Today, Grisham has written a collection of stories, a work of non-fiction, three sports novels, five kids' books, and many legal thrillers. His work has been translated into 42 languages. He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Johnny Sherwood

Johnny Sherwood was one of eleven children, and played professional football for Islington Corinthians, Middlesbrough, Reading, Aldershot and Crystal Palace. During the war, he was a Sergeant in the Royal Artillery. Johnny suffered lifelong effects from his POW years, but nonetheless went on to become a pub landlord and successful bookie. He raised three children and was the proud grandfather of six grandchildren.

Kingsley Donaldson

KINGSLEY DONALDSON is a retired Army officer. He has served on operations in a number of European and Middle Eastern countries in various roles that span from countering weapons of mass destruction through to negotiating with armed groups in Iraq. His last appointments at the Ministry of Defence were concerned with national defence and security strategy. He now advises a number of governments in his role as Director of the Causeway Institute for Peace-building Conflict Resolution International.

Lavie Tidhar

Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the controversial, widely-translated alternate history novel Osama, and of many other works which straddle the boundaries between history, fantasy and reality. He has written comics for Titan Comics and others, as well as screenplays, numerous short stories, and a volume of poetry. He has won a British Fantasy Award for his fiction, a BSFA Award for his non-fiction, and was nominated variously for the Campbell, Sturgeon, Sidewise and Geffen awards. He has travelled extensively but currently lives in London.

Leo McKinstry

Leo McKinstry is a first-class historian of the Second World War and author of bestselling Spitfire and Hurricane. He writes regularly for the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator. Born in Belfast he was educated in Ireland and at Cambridge University.

Major P R Reid

Patrick Robert "Pat" Reid, MBE, MC was a British Army Officer and author of two bestselling memoirs of his time as a Nazi Prisoner of War at Colditz Castle in Germany, The Colditz Story and The Latter Days at Colditz. These books became the basis of a film starring Sir John Mills, and a successful television series starring Robert Wagner and David McCallum.

Marianne Kavanagh

Marianne Kavanagh is an author and journalist. She has worked on staff for Woman, Tatler, the Sunday Telegraph magazine and British Marie Claire, and has contributed features to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. She lives in London.

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert is the Official Biographer of Sir Winston Churchill; his prolific output on this subject includes the one-volume biography, Churchill: A Life. Among his other books are: First World War, Second World War, D-Day and The Day the War Ended, as well as a magisterial three-volume History of The Twentieth Century, and twelve historical atlases. Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995. Two years later he was awarded a Doctorate of Literature at Oxford University for the totality of his historical work.