Britain's secret weapon in the Battle of Britain is hidden in plain sight...
It is a vast radar network, designed to detect hostile aircraft and enable RAF pilots to intercept them before they reach their targets.
By summer 1940, the Nazis are aware of the new masts along the English coast but misread their significance.
Germany's secret service sends former Olympic competitor, Klara Falke, to Britain. Her mission: to gather local intelligence to enrich the Nazis' invasion plans.
Klara joins a group of Nazi sympathisers in northern England. Soon, MI5 is in pursuit, but she is not the only German agent plotting in Britain.
When the Nazis discover that the RAF is using radar as an early warning device, they vow to destroy the masts. For Klara, knowing who to trust is a matter of life and death.
Rooted in historical fact, Warbird is an intriguing adventure that twists and turns through the pivotal first twelve months of the Second World War.
Guest content from Mark:
5 interesting things about my main protagonist in WARBIRD
My main protagonist in WARBIRD is Klara Falke, a young German woman born in Berlin.
1) Before WARBIRD begins in 1939, we learn that Klara competes for Germany in the 1936 Olympics. These games are held in Berlin and attended by the Führer, Adolf Hitler. Something goes wrong in her event, which comes back to haunt her later, but her athletic prowess, fast reactions and keen eye all stand her in good stead during the story.
2) In the first chapter of WARBIRD, Klara witnesses a brutal fight on a Zeppelin airship between two men. One of them is her boss, the other a Gestapo officer. The outcome, which appears at the time to be clear-cut, turns out not to be so straightforward later in the story. The subterfuge has considerable repercussions for all involved.
3) Klara is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor who, in the 1930s, was attacked and beaten up for his beliefs by Nazi Brownshirts. Inevitably, her familial upbringing has a profound influence on the choices she makes in her own life, and this is a theme of WARBIRD.
4) Klara meets some fascinating real-life characters in WARBIRD. They include:
Alfred Hess, the brother of Rudolf Hess who was Deputy Führer of the Nazi Party when war broke out;
Albert Sammt, a crew member who survived the famous Hindenburg airship disaster. It exploded on arrival in New Jersey, USA, in 1937;
Wilhelm Canaris, the admiral in charge of Germany’s secret service who would end up being tried for treason against the Nazis.
Klara is a good listener and people find her easy to talk to. In different ways, each of these men influences her progress during the story of WARBIRD.
5) Klara has a core quality of indefatigability. No matter what happens, she will not give up or take no for an answer, even when held captive or caught in a bomb blast, as happens to her in WARBIRD. In this regard, Klara may be seen as a modern woman who knows she can do anything she turns her mind to and is a fine role model for others.
Mark Batey was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne.
As a student at Pembroke College, Cambridge, he chaired the college film society, and after five years in advertising he forged a career in the film industry. This included three years at the BFI and two decades running the trade association for UK film distributors – the pivotal companies that acquire,
promote and release films to audiences. He wrote stories from childhood.
Throughout his career, he scripted articles, speeches and reports, and is thrilled to have turned latterly to longer-form narratives. His first book, Grace, a life story of Northumberland’s sea rescue heroine,
Grace Darling, was published in January 2022. It was reviewed in The Ambler (in Northumberland) as ‘well researched, informative, exciting and complete’, and attracted further five-star write-ups.
Warbird, an historical adventure set in 1939–40, a hundred years after Grace, is his second book.
He splits his time between London and Northumberland.
My thanks to Mark for supplying these insights as part of the blogtour today here at whatiread.
Find out what others think and see other extra information from the author about this new release from Clink Street Publishing at the other stops on the tour via the blogs below:
Thanks also to Blue from Kaleidoscopic for the place on the tour.
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Review and post by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot on Twitter and Instagram) November 2022