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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.

5 out of 5

I cannot recommend this detailed, thought provoking and eminently readable book highly enough to anyone with a serious interest in the Battle of Britain.

Read the Full Review Here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Featured in

Military History Matters - Issue 138, February/March 2024

Article: "Author's 1 Million Words on Battle of Britain."

RAF News - January 12, 2024

Author and series featured in the article: 'One million words on landmark aerial battle'

Worcester News

Are the dates of the battle wrong?

Read the article here.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust

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

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.

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