The Second World War in the Summer of 1940 is the sub-title of Mr. Taylor's third installment in what is a major history of the German military in World War Two. The image of the title, carried out so well in execution, is that of the enormously powerful and victorious German army pounding against the shores of Britain and falling away, spent. The idea of ""Operation Sea Lion"" lasted long after its chance for success had gone and this quixotic strategy led to Hitler's final defeat. The core of the book is given over to the Battle of Britain, the peak upon which Goering's Luftwaffe destroyed itself, and the narrative here is so superbly carried off that the subsequent account of the invasion plan which never came off lacks lustre. But it is for his reading of the German side of the war that Mr. Taylor's history will be taken up and often cited as a major contribution to twentieth century scholarship. How and why Hitler's war machine foundered just at the moment of greatest success, so masterfully outlined here, has its meanings and reverberations for our own leaders today.