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Battle of Britain (Hardback)

An Official History

WWII Aviation Battle of Britain Aviation in WWII Spitfires & Hurricanes Luftwaffe Royal Air Force

Introduction by Mark Hillier
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 32 mono in central plate section
ISBN: 9781399075411
Published: 30th September 2022

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Written by personnel at the RAF’s Air Historical Branch in the aftermath of the Second World War, this official history of the Battle of Britain is very much a story of the operations of the RAF’s Fighter Command during the dark days of the summer of 1940.

Of principal concern to the authors was the phases by which the Luftwaffe’s offensive developed. To this end, they set out to examine how each of the various phases was executed, the effects that were seen, and what counteracting policy governed the operations of the Allied fighter squadrons. Specific facts are also revealed. For example, it was noted that Luftwaffe fighter formations could be over London within twenty minutes of the first radar plot being made, and that on occasion were reported to have dropped bombs on south-east London just seventeen minutes after being picked up by the radar stations.

While the most important features of the Battle are explored, there are others which had no small effect on the form that the aerial campaign took. These include the production and repair of aircraft, the training of pilots, signals and telecommunications, maintenance and servicing of squadrons, and engine and armament problems – all of which have each a place in any comprehensive narrative of the Battle. Nor would such a narrative be complete unless it included details of the work of Anti-Aircraft and Balloon Commands and the Observer Corps in defence, and of Bomber and Coastal Commands in the counter-offensive. All of these aspects were not ignored.

This, then, is the full story of how the Allied pilots and aircrew, supported by the Royal Navy, the Army and the civilian services, defended the United Kingdom against the large-scale assaults by Hitler’s fighters and bombers in the ‘Spitfire Summer’.

This official account of the Battle of Britain was written soon after the end of the Second World War by personnel at the RAF’s Air Historical Branch, and was based on information, reports and documents provided by those involved in the fighting of the summer of 1940.

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 Mark Hillier

About Mark Hillier

MARK HILLIER is an author and historian, who, as well as being a member of the Royal Historical Society, is a Chartered Surveyor. A qualified pilot, he has flown for more than thirty years. With his main passion being the history of the RFC and RAF, he has researched, written, or co-authored twelve publications; his most recent works include the highly acclaimed Battle of Britain and Royal Flying Corps ‘kitbag’ titles. Mark has contributed to, and assisted on, many other publications and magazine articles. He regularly appears on TV and radio programmes and is a frequent public speaker on aviation related historical subjects. Mark provides curatorial support for aviation museums and advises on items within their collections. 

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