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Battle of Britain The Breaking Storm (Hardback)

10 July 1940 – 12 August 1940

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

By Dilip Sarkar MBE
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399056410
Published: 21st September 2023


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In Battle of Britain: The Gathering Storm, the first of Dilip Sarkar’s unprecedented seven-volume series exploring the Battle of Britain, the events that led up to the outbreak of war in 1939, and which set the scene for the epic aerial conflict of summer 1940, were fully explored.

Continuing his examination of the events of the Spitfire Summer, in Battle of Britain: The Breaking Storm Dilip provides a day-by-day chronicle of the Battle of Britain’s first phase – the so-called Kanalkampf – which was fought over the Channel-bound convoys between 10 July and 12 August 1940. This account, though, does not simply concern RAF Fighter Command, as the author recognises the operations and efforts of the RAF’s Bomber and Coastal commands, the Royal Navy and mercantile marine – making this book part of what he calls ‘the Big story’.

Hitler’s actual policies and intentions towards the ongoing war with Britain are also explored. If the Battle of Britain was fought to deny Germany the aerial superiority required to launch a seaborne invasion of southern England, then, the author argues, the conflict could surely only have begun when the Germans committed to Operation Seelöwe – which was not, in fact, until 21 July 1940. It has previously been accepted that Hitler’s War Directive of 16 July 1940 signalled the intention to invade, but the author proves that this was no more than another example of the ‘brinkmanship’ that Hitler was renowned for, and the air attacks at that time little more than ‘Air Fleet Diplomacy’, all of which was intended to frighten Britain into accepting the Führer’s ‘last appeal to reason’ of 19 July 1940.

In his broadcast of 22 July 1940, Lord Halifax made the nation’s unbowed position quite clear. He called Hitler’s bluff: previously reluctant to fight Britain, Hitler’s preferred policy in the ongoing war had been blockade and diplomacy – but now he had no choice but to unleash the Luftwaffe against Britain. All of this is investigated in detail, aligning these wider events and high decisions with action in the air.

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.

As featured by

Pennant Magazine - Autumn 2023, No.180 - THE JOURNAL OF THE FORCES PENSION SOCIETY

Article "The Forgotten Member of the 'The Few'"

Sir Keith Park, the 'Defender of London', has been formally recognised for his role in the Battle of Britain.

Britain at War Magazine
 Dilip Sarkar MBE

About Dilip Sarkar MBE

Driven by his passion to record and share the human experience of war, DILIP SARKAR is a best-selling and prolific author whose work is highly regarded globally. A noted expert on the Battle of Britain period, the Few and Spitfire stories, Dilip enjoyed a long and very personal relationship with many survivors. Made an MBE for ‘services to aviation history in 2003, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. A sought after, dynamic, speaker both in person and, more recently, ‘virtually’, Dilip’s enthusiasm is infectious; he has exhibited internationally and spoken at innumerable prestigious venues. An experienced broadcaster and presenter, he continues to work on TV documentaries both on and off camera, and is a firm supporter of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.
Dilip is Project Lead on Battle of Britain: The People's Project, a new project launched in July 2022 in partnership with Pen & Sword and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, which aims to discover untold stories from the Battle of Britain as part of a comprehensive seven-volume history of the battle. Visit the project website at https://www.battleofbritainpeoplesproject.com.

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