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  • Secret Britain

  • A Journey Through the Second World War's Hidden Bases and Battlegrounds
  • By: Sinclair McKay
  • Narrated by: Sinclair McKay
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Summary

Discover the stories of the brave men and women who worked, trained and fought across the UK, from Bletchley Park in southern England all the way to Arisaig in northern Scotland, in an unbelievable effort to defeat the Nazis and win the Second World War.

From the outset of the war, most of Britain felt like a mystery even to those who lived there. All road and railway signs were removed up and down the country to thwart potential enemy spies. An invisible web of cunning spread across the United Kingdom; secret laboratories were hidden in marshes, underground bases were built to conceal key strategic plans, and grand country houses became secret and silent locations for eccentric boffins to do their confidential cryptography work.

In Secret Britain, Sinclair McKay maps out the UK through the hidden bases and battlegrounds of WWII. These locations are full of history and intrigue, but if you don't know where to look, you might just miss them. Journeying through secret wildernesses, suburbs, underground tunnels and manor houses, Sinclair gives a glimpse into the stories of the incredible people behind the war effort, and shows how you might be able to visit these mysterious and evocative locations yourself.

With his trademark warmth and compassion, Sinclair unearths the truths of the war that have remained under layers of secrecy since the war was won in 1945.

©2021 Sinclair McKay (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Secret Britain

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

lovely stuff

I dithered between 4 or 5 stars at first as some of the stories won't be particularly new to keen WW2 history fans. But Sinclair made up for it as the book went on. The enjoyable twist on the normal secret history book is the social and the geography aspect, it adds interest and brings the stories alive.

At times McKay's narration style is more personalised, like a podcast. No bad thing actually, it's like a mate giving you tips on how to have a day out!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellently Researched, well narrated

loved it really good previously unknown WW2 infrastructure story. Highly recommended tells of how each location played its part and how they fitted together.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mostly good book - DREADFUL narration

Mostly a good listen and I chose this book because I have listened to many books on WW2 and have found most of them to be fascinating and giving me, as someone born after the end of the war and when life had returned to normal, an insight into the way people lived and the way in which the war was fought.

I found the author's narration eye-wateringly horrible. I only stuck with it as I wanted to find out more of the hidden secret sites around the UK. Having read and listened to similar books I have always found them fascinating. Mr McKay's plummy accent does nothing to enhance the story and often detracts with mispronunciation of place names and what appears to be an 'upper-class' drawl# at times where words are drawn out in an excruciating manner. As another reviewer states 'narration is not easy' and this author has proved the point. I have listened to many hundreds of audio books and find the choice of narrator is vital in enhancing the listeners pleasure and overall experience.

Some areas of the book have been covered by other authors but this is unavoidable due to the subject matter.

I enjoyed it with the caveat above and found many fascinating facts presented to me.

Would I listen again - hmmm - probably not unless it is re-recorded by someone else. A shame as it is a missed opportunity.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Lightweight

A very light read, superficially covering already well documented sites, so little new is gleaned. It re-used, I suspect, a lot of secondary sources. To be fair, this may be referenced in its book form, but is not apparent in audiobook. The narration by the author himself was awful, with strange emphases and pauses in the wrong places. Being able to narrate well is a real skill, and not one writers themselves necessarily have.

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Great info

Loved the info in the book and the details of the closest stations etc is 1st class.

The narrator wasn't the best for me but thoroughly enjoyed the book and learned some things I didn't know existed.
Only downside was some of the facts on the parts I did know were not 100% correct but that didnt taje away from the enjoyment

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Excellent

An absolutely fascinating, well researched and delivered audio book. Lots of new knowledge and places to visit! Superb.

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  • Oi
  • 29-06-22

Worth a listen

Very interesting beautifully narrated a glimpse into a world of secrets intrigue and lifestyle during the war