"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few," Winston Churchill. This quick read delivers the various components that went into the winning of the Battle of Britain, where only 3,000 airmen saved the day and turned back the Nazi onslaught. Korda covers the politics, the context and the personalities that made this win possible. He focuses largely on Air Officer Commander Hugh Dowding, whose difficult nature lead to his dismissal despite his obvious successes and foresight. This book is a great companion piece to the Churchill The Second World War series (particularly book 2) providing, as it does, an alternate point of view to the great man's assertions.
This in-depth history of World War II's Battle of Britain draws on the firsthand perspectives of pilots, ground crews, and commanders, but although author Michael Korda details the fighting from both British and German viewpoints, he emphasises the period leading up to the 1940 battle. Central to the RAF's readiness to defend Britain was the work of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, who spent years building an integrated air defense system for England, training his pilots, and preventing the politicians from diverting his resources to France. If you're interested in the preparations that assured British success, as well as a thrilling account of the air battle, try With Wings Like Eagles. History and Current Events newsletter November 2014.
History viewed from this distance can be distorted by the changes in our society. This one sticks fairly close to the story from numerous other books witha few new insights that sound plausible. Well written and it challenges some of the perceived wisdom and myths from the past....
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