The Race to Break the Sound Barrier

The end of the war thrust Britain, the Allies and the Soviets straight into an arms race to develop the fastest jet fighter. Flying at supersonic speed, breaking the sound barrier, was the ultimate objective. It was as important to all three nations as the space race was to prove ten years later. 

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BBC Artsnight - Know Your Enemy: Stephen Poliakoff in Conversation

Stephen Poliakoff has long been obsessed with the secret history of Britain in the 20th century. His latest work, Close to the Enemy, looks at the clandestine work of the secret service after the end of the Second World War.

Historian and broadcaster David Reynolds talks to Poliakoff about the inspiration behind Close to the Enemy, as well as the always tricky relationship between history and fiction.

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