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Battle of Britain Airfields Under Attack (Hardback)

19 August 1940 – 6 September 1940

Aviation > Pilots Aviation > WWII > Battle of Britain P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII

By Dilip Sarkar MBE
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399057967
Published: 30th August 2024
This Week's Best Sellers Rank: #15

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In this unprecedented series exploring the big story of the Battle of Britain, renowned historian Dilip Sarkar investigates the wider context and intimate details of the epic aerial conflict in the summer of 1940 from all sides. In so doing, he gives due acknowledgement to the roles of Bomber and Coastal Commands in addition to the fabled Few of Fighter Command.

This unique narrative draws upon a lifetime of research, the author having enjoyed a long relationship with survivors and the relatives of casualties; his innumerable interviews and first-hand accounts collated, in addition to privileged access to personal papers, providing essential human interest to this inspirational story.

In this the fourth volume, Battle of Britain: Airfields Under Attack, Dilip continues to examine the fighting on a day-by-day, combat-by-combat basis from 19 August until 6 September 1940. It is a period in which we saw the Luftwaffe’s bombing of the all-important 11 Group airfields intensify, culminating in ‘The Hardest Day’ of 18 August 1940, which saw both sides lose more aircraft than any other day throughout the whole Battle of Britain.

The tensions and problems between Fighter Command’s 11 and 12 Groups also intensified. It was a situation that eventually led to Squadron Leader Douglas Bader criticising Fighter Command tactics, proposing the use of ‘Big Wings’, contrary to the System of Air Defence and strategy involved, gaining the support of his 12 Group commander, Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory. Given its later significance, this is investigated in depth.

Through diligent research, combined with crucial official primary sources and personal papers, Dilip unravels many myths, often challenging the accepted narrative. This is not simply another dull record of combat losses and claims – far from it. Drawing upon unique first-hand accounts from a wide-range of combatants and eyewitnesses, along with Daily Home Intelligence Reports and numerous other primary sources, this book forms part of what is likely to be the first and last such comprehensively woven account of this epic air battle.

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 Dilip Sarkar MBE

About Dilip Sarkar MBE

Dilip Sarkar has now written over sixty well-received books. Having enjoyed a privileged relationship with many of The Few, he is a globally acknowledged expert on the Battle of Britain, currently working on a career-topping eight volume official history for The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and National Memorial to The Few. Described by the late Dr Gordon Mitchell, son of the Spitfire’s designer RJ Mitchell, as an ‘aviation detective’, Dilip Sarkar did actually begin his professional life as just that – a police detective. His evidence-based approach and ability to discover new material is well-known – in 2023, for example, he was responsible for having Air Chief-Marshal Sir Keith Park, a New Zealander, officially recognised as one of The Few. Made an MBE for ‘services to aviation history’ in 2003, Dilip was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006, achieved First Class Honours in Modern History as a mature student in 2010, and in 2024 was made both a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and member of London’s Royal Air Force Club. During his long career, Dilip has exhibited and spoken internationally at such prestigious venues as Oxford University, the RAF Museum, IWM Museum, and Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek; he has worked on many TV documentaries, on and off screen, again internationally, and has an engaging presence on YouTube and Facebook in particular.

Perfect Partner

Battle of Britain Attack of the Eagles 13 August 1940 – 18 August 1940 (Hardback)

In this unprecedented series exploring the big story of the Battle of Britain, renowned historian Dilip Sarkar investigates the wider context and intimate details of the epic aerial conflict in the summer of 1940 from all sides. In so doing, he gives due acknowledgement to the roles of Bomber and Coastal Commands in addition to the fabled Few of Fighter Command. This unique narrative draws upon a lifetime of research, the author having enjoyed a long relationship with survivors and the relatives of casualties; his innumerable interviews and first-hand accounts collated, in addition to privileged…

By Dilip Sarkar MBE

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