The Greatest Leap
by Andrew Hatcher ( Matador, 332 pages, £11.99) Wrapping up a decade-by-decade overview of British and world 20th century history in less than 350 pages may seem like mission impossible, but Hatcher’s done a decent job here in chronicling the significant events from the death of Queen Victoria, through both World Wars, to the dawn of the internet. The dearth of photographs is a shame, but it’s a very informative read nevertheless. The tragic tale of the RAF’s 82 Squadron in the Second World War was rather overlooked at the time. Based on the accounts of survivors and official records, this book now attempts to correct that oversight and is a moving retelling of how two bombing raids wiped out almost its entire unit of 24 planes. It’s a stark reminder of the catastrophic losses the British often suffered in the conflict. As an industrial city with a population of almost 240,000, Coventry was a key target for German bombing raids during the Second World War. Here, David McGrory tells the story of the devastating airborne attacks between 1940 and 1942 that killed 1,252 and left 1,859 injured. Richly illustrated with previously unseen archive photography, this offers a unique insight into one of the defining periods of the city’s history.
If you’d like to see your family history products covered here, send them to the address on p3