A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, Commemorating The Few

B2213

A thoughtful foreword by the Fighter Association’s Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales sums up the part that The Few hold for those who grew up during WWII and in the years following. The author has written from the basis of access to the Fighter Association’s archives. The resulting book is one that should be read by all Britons, but the Battle of Britain included pilots from across the Empire, from those countries overrun by the German Nazis and pilots from Ireland and the United States. It was a unique battle that produced a unique and inspiring story that will endure. Highly Commended.

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NAME: A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, Commemorating The Few
DATE: 260815
FILE: R2213
AUTHOR: Geoff Simpson
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 176
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, Hurricane, Spitfire, RAF, Defiant, Blenheim, fighter pilots, The Few, Battle of Britain, Me109, Bf109, Me110, Stuka, Ju87, Do17, He111, He115, Poles, Czechs, French, Americans, Australians, Canadians, radar, sector controls, RAFVR
ISBN: 1-78159-387-6
IMAGE: B2213.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/qdaeheb
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: A thoughtful foreword by the Fighter Association’s Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales sums up the part that The Few hold for those who grew up during WWII and in the years following. The author has written from the basis of access to the Fighter Association’s archives. The resulting book is one that should be read by all Britons, but the Battle of Britain included pilots from across the Empire, from those countries overrun by the German Nazis and pilots from Ireland and the United States. It was a unique battle that produced a unique and inspiring story that will endure. Highly Commended.

The air battle over Britain was the most intense aerial combat ever fought and the prize for the victor was enormous. Had Germany won, the way would have been clear for an invasion of Britain. Had that invasion been successful, Europe would have been plunged into a new Dark Age and Nazis ambitions would not have ended there. What would probably have followed is the completion of the German naval building program and the addition of many British warships into a Nazi Fleet. That would have made Germany the global naval power with the largest and most advanced air force, ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. No country would have been safe from the genocidal Germans.

Given that the RAF fielded such a small air force, outnumbered more than four to one by the German air fleet, it is very easy to think of The Few as super-humans. As their numbers dwindle and the last survivor passes into history, it will be difficult for future generations to fully understand what these young men were and how they triumphed. This book will be a valuable insight for the future generations. Those of us who grew up on the legend of the Battle of Britain and were fortunate to meet some of The Few were surprised and almost a little disappointed. They were not ten feet tall and straight from the pages of the Marvel Comics. They were modest, some retiring, most with a strong sense of humour. For those who also met some of the German fighter pilots, found men who were remarkably similar and it was then no surprise that strong friendships developed between some of the veterans from both sides. During the Battle of France, RAF pilots flying there generally regarded their opponents as gentlemen who played by the rules and this was expressed in the book ‘Fighter Pilot’ written by Hurricane pilot Paul Ritchie. That was not to be so widespread a feeling during the Battle of Britain because it inevitably became personal. British homes, schools and hospitals were being bombed, comrades were being lost in battle, and the intensity of the engagements high above the summer fields of England stretched understanding.

The Fighter Association has provided a great service over the years since its formation in 1958. It has organized reunions, provided welfare to veterans and their families and built up a unique archive that it protects and manages today. That archive contains a considerable and unrivalled store of information. The Association has also become closely associated with the thanksgiving service held every September in Westminster Abbey.

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