The author has been building a formidable and acclaimed portfolio of WWII aviation history and this volume addresses the human cost. The Battle of Britain halted the German expansion, but it did so much more, it defeated Germany because the German plan for World Domination depended on a very fast victory before British and American industry could out produce that of Germany. – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: Battle of Britain 1940, The Finest Hour's Human Cost FILE: R3250 AUTHOR: Dilip Sarkar MBE PUBLISHER: Air World, Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £30.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, air power, air battles, people tactics, pilots, aircraft, freedom, allies, volunteers, injury death, battle fatigue ISBN: 1-53677-593-X PAGES: 370 IMAGE: B3250.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y3gh58wn LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author has been building a formidable and acclaimed portfolio of WWII aviation history and this volume addresses the human cost. The Battle of Britain halted the German expansion, but it did so much more, it defeated Germany because the German plan for World Domination depended on a very fast victory before British and American industry could out produce that of Germany. – Most Highly Recommended
The Battle of Britain is history and myth. It dominated the history of WWII and it produced heroes to rival those of ancient history, ordinary young men who achieved something extraordinary and almost beyond belief. The Battle began with the RAF pilots having to shoot down five times more planes than the Germans just to achieve parity of numbers. The pilots on both sides had many similarities, but many of the Germans had already had the benefit of battle experience in the Spanish Civil War and the confidence of having scythed through the air forces of Poland, Netherlands, Belgium and France. Over Britain however, they suffered a serious shock and after their propagandists had claimed the total destruction of the RAF, they faced increasing numbers of RAF fighters as they approached their targets.
The RAF achievement was outstanding and it is only natural that this should focus historians on the technologies and tactics that enabled a far smaller force to defeat a much larger force. Everyone it seems loves a David and Goliath combat. This reviewer was at school with the sons of many of the RAF heroes, met their famous parents, was enthralled by the stories of combat, and eagerly attended air shows where the Spitfire was still in service alongside the early jets. There was the thrill of building Airfix models of the Gladiator and Spitfire, primitive though they were when compared to the modern Airfix products. What was largely missing was the understanding of the human cost that paid the butchers bill for the great victory. Even in later years, examining freshly excavated muddy remains of British and German aircraft was divorced from the human cost.
The author has produced a review of this human cost. It is poignant, moving, stirring, but also contains the humour and enthusiasm of those who paid the price. They came from all over the world to fight for Britain and freedom. Those from defeated countries had their chance to strike back. Those from Empire volunteered by the hundreds and thousands. They travelled long distances and those who would fight in the air often arrived in the squadrons after the Battle was over. Volunteers came also from the Republic of Ireland and from the USA, from South America, every corner of the world. They came from all sections of their societies to come together as one force, with one purpose. Sadly, some fell in battle and some were severely injured, requiring months and years to recover.
Today, we see the grubby little national socialists in many countries trying to steal elections and trigger new wars. This makes the contribution of the Battle of Britain heroes to the fight for freedom all the more vital and valuable. We must never forget them and we must never forget that freedom is won by pain and loss, blood and tears, but so easily and quickly lost. We must never forget the human cost and always be prepared to risk it to maintain freedom.