1942: Britain at the Brink

Taylor Downing


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Little, Brown Book Group
19 January 2023
ISBN: 9780349144528
432 pages

From the publisher

'Taylor Downing is a wonderful historian and a wonderful history communicator' Dan Snow, History Hit

'Vividly brings to life a terrible year' Max Hastings, Sunday Times

'Sheds intriguing light on just how close Churchill was to losing his grip on power' Publishers Weekly

In 1942, Britain stood at the brink of defeat. From the collapse in Malaya and the biggest surrender in British history at Singapore to the passing of three large German warships through the Straits of Dover in broad daylight and the longest ever retreat through Burma to the gates of India, a string of military disasters engulfed Britain in rapid succession. People began to claim that Churchill was not up to the job and his leadership was failing badly. Public morale reached a new low.

In 1942: Britain at the Brink, Taylor Downing charts the frustration and despair that characterised this year. Most people think that Britain's worst moment of the war was in 1940 when the nation stood up against the threat of German invasion. Here, Downing describes in nail-biting detail what was really Britain's darkest hour.