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1940s Society Shop >  History >  Book Reviews >  Shingle Street

Shingle Street

Incorporating myth, fact and fiction this lively and exciting story explores the possibility of a German Invasion of Britain during WW2.


Shingle Street
Written By James Hayward

Shingle Street

A Review by Bryan Webb

Shingle Street by James Hayward is a fictionalised sequel to The Bodies on the Beach which investigated the various myths surrounding the planned German invasion of Britain in 1940 (Operation Sealion).

Reports began to appear just after the war describing an actual invasion attempt repulsed by a 'secret weapon' developed by a desperate Great Britain standing alone - a wall of fire creating a burning sea! The tiny Suffolk coastal hamlet of Shingle Street became a focus for the legend, and James explored the theories in his earlier work The Bodies on the Beach (published by CD41 in 2001).

In Shingle Street, we return to Summer 1940 for a compelling work of 'faction' incorporating myth, fact and fiction into a lively and exciting story. I read this with the charm of the golden age of 'adventure stories' in mind and found I couldn't put it down! I nearly missed my station after two hours of reading on the train - it takes the reader back to the mood of the time and manages to capture the atmosphere of early wartime Britain superbly. Our hero, Captain John Goodman, a junior officer wounded in the retreat of the BEF from France, finds himself swept into a high-level intrigue of bluff and double-bluff. As the events of 1940 unfold, the everyday details of Britain 'carrying on alone' are brought to life -the theatre shows of the day, the difficulties of motor car travel and even the music of sixty years ago are captured here for the reader. The final chapters draw to a truly explosive conclusion!

It will be a great book for summer reading on the beach or better still a weekend visit to Suffolk this winter to see it all for yourself . . . !

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