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Breaking Point - John Rhodes

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Breaking Point - A Novel of the Battle of Britain
John Rhodes
John Rhodes
UK Publication Date

Breaking Point, a novel by John Rhodes, tells the story of the Battle of Britain and the men and women who fought it...

It is August, 1940. Hitler's triumphant Third Reich has crushed all Europe--except Britain. As Hitler launches a massive aerial assault, only the heavily outnumbered British RAF and the iron will of Winston Churchill can stop him. The fate of Western civilization teeters in the balance.

Johnnie Shaux, a Spitfire fighter pilot, knows that the average life expectancy of a pilot is a mere five hours of operational flying time. Sooner or later, his luck will run out. Yet he must constantly summon up the fortitude to fly into conditions in which death is all but inevitable and continue to do so until the inevitable occurs...

Meanwhile, Eleanor Rand, a WAAF staff officer in RAF headquarters, is struggling to find her role in a man's world and to make a contribution to the battle. She studies the control room maps that track the ebb and flow of conflict, the aerial thrust and parry, and begins to see the glimmerings of a radical strategic breakthrough...

Breaking Point is based on the actual events of six days in the historic Battle of Britain. The story alternates between Johnnie, face to face with the implacable enemy; and Eleanor, in 11 Group headquarters, using 'zero-sum' game theory to evolve a strategic model of the battle.

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John Rhodes was born in World War II while his father was serving at an RAF Fighter Command airfield in southern England. After the war he grew up in London, where, he says, the shells of bombed-out buildings 'served as our adventure playgrounds.' Rhodes graduated from Cambridge University where he studied history. His career in international banking took him all around the world. After many years living on the West Side of Manhattan, Rhodes now lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. 'My traveling days are over, ' he says. Rhodes rues the decline of history as a required field of study. 'If you don't know where you came from, you don't understand why you're here, let alone where you going to be next.' Reflecting Rhodes' search for historical accuracy, the battles in Breaking Point conform to the actual performance specifications of the aircraft, down to the details of their rate of climb and turning circles. He has written two Thomas Ford detective novels and is busy on a sequel to Breaking Point. He inherited a love of old-fashioned detective stories, 'cozies, ' from his father, particularly by the great generation of women writers including Agatha Christie and, in his words, the 'immortal Dorothy L Sayers.' Sayers's fictional protagonist Harriet Vane is, Rhodes confesses, an archetype for his character Eleanor Rand in Breaking Point. http: //

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