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'Enemy Sighted' (Hardback)

The Story of the Battle of Britain Bunker and the World’s First Integrated Air Defence System

Aviation > Pilots Aviation > Royal Air Force Aviation > WWII > Battle of Britain Military P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 21st Century WWII World History > Europe

By Dilip Amin
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 100 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399049306
Published: 21st June 2023

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Enemy Sighted is the story of the world’s first integrated air defence system and how the coalition of Hurricanes and Spitfires, Fighter Command’s Operations Rooms and Sector Stations, Radar Stations, Observer Corps posts, anti-aircraft gun and searchlight batteries, and balloon barrages, stood resolutely in the way of Operation Seelöwe, Hitler’s plan for invading Britain in the Summer of 1940.

Dilip Amin provides a fascinating insight into their development and eventual operationalisation. The system provided a recognised air picture, giving everyone the same information at the same time, much like computers linked through the internet do today, except, in 1939 there was no computer and there was no internet!

Fundamental to its telling is the 11 Group Operations Room, today referred to as the Battle of Britain Bunker, and the people who worked there, deep below RAF Uxbridge. It was after visiting the Bunker that Churchill first uttered the immortal words, ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’.

Hidden underground, with its large map table and squadron display boards, and balloon and weather states, it is preserved as it was on 15 September 1940, the date celebrated as Battle of Britain Day. Dilip Amin describes how the Bunker operated, transporting the reader back to the time of the Battle of France and the final evacuation from Dunkirk. He guides the reader through the Battle of Britain, examining in detail, the events of 15 September, as seen by those in the Bunker and the combat reports of those flying the Hurricanes and Spitfires on that tumultuous day.

Finally, the book provides an insight into how the Bunker operated to protect Britain during the Blitz; support the exploratory raid on Dieppe; shield the troops landing in Normandy; and defend against Hitler’s V1 and V2 Vengeance Weapons. Enemy Sighted provides a compelling insight into the remarkable history of a secret Operations Room, that was pivotal within a world leading air defence system, and without which, an Allied victory in the Second World War would have been far from certain.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I liked the way it wove in scenes from the movie Battle of Britain into the real events that were occurring in the air, on the ground and in the bunker. It tells an exciting story in a compelling way.

NetGalley, Susan Johnston

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, explaining what it took before the control room boards indicated 'Enemy Sighted', which meant that the system had worked and successfully brought the RAF fighters into actual combat with the attacking Luftwaffe formations. Recommended.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene

"This is a great insight into Britain’s integrated air defence system during WW2, brilliantly researched and written by Dilip Amin. Perfect for anyone interested in the RAF and the Battle of Britain."

Amazon Review

As featured in

NARPO NEWS - The Magazine of The National Association of Retired Police Officers - November 2023, Issue 116

The Dowding System of interception and defence was pivotal to our success in the Battle of Britain. Dilip fluently describes the theory and then goes on to give a vivid description of the theory in action during the tensest hours and days of the Battle. It is a fitting and fascinating testament to all those, on the ground and in the air, who played such key roles during those threatening months.

Highly recommended, a wonderful read.

Chris. L

5.0 out of 5 stars - Britain's Finest Hour

This book deserves 50 stars. It is magnificent and tells a magnificent history of the last battle fought by the British Nation that changed the world. Without the RAF's victory in the Battle of Britain, Hitler's Fascism would have taken half Europe, and Russian Communism the other. But the RAF's victory depended on the Chain Home Radar system, mass production of Hurricanes and Spitfires, and most important of all the RAF Command Bunker and the coordinated air defence system that it controlled. Dilip Amin's book is a masterpiece of scholarship and storytelling, as well as being profoundly moving for the great events that it describes. I recommend it with a full heart and total admiration.

Amazon UK Review

5.0 out of 5 stars - Contains everything you ever need to know

I highly recommend this book. Mr. Amin has collated a wealth of information, and couched it in highly readable prose. Easily the best book on this subject I've ever read.

Amazon UK Review

I would recommend this book to all readers interested in the RAF, the Battle of Britain and even the general reader who might want to explore more of the real heroes of WW2 and those who helped prevent Britain being overwhelmed by the Luftwaffe.

NetGalley, Michael Neill

Enemy sighted, a book about the creation and use of the Dowding system that helped win the Battle of Britain.
The author guides us through the need for the system from the First world war to the Battle of Britain and beyond. The author explains the workings of the system especially within 11 group well and without getting too technical. It is also interspersed with first hand accounts so we can see how effective the system was at intercepting..
A good, interesting read, I am sure that there are more detailed books about the Dowding system, this book however is a good introduction.
I look forward to reading more by this author.

NetGalley, David Fleshbourne

This is a most interesting book. I found it so for two reasons: It taught me things I did not know or understand about the Battle of Britain (and the Second World War generally) and it often explained the more commonplace in original and illuminating terms.

A good read with plenty to commend it!

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust

As featured in

'London Calling', the journal of the London at War Study Group.

About Dilip Amin

DILIP AMIN is a retired police chief superintendent, with a life-long interest in military history, military aviation, and the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He volunteers as a tour guide at the Battle of Britain Bunker and relishes the opportunity to share its rich and fascinating story with visitors, bringing its history to life as a tribute to those who served there during the dark days of war. He now puts the investigative and presentational experience gained whilst in the police to good use, devoting much of his time to researching and writing about his field of passion.

Perfect Partner

Helping Stop Hitler's Luftwaffe The Memoirs of a Pilot Involved in the Development of Radar Interception, Vital in the Battle of Britain (Hardback)

‘The bomber will always get through’ was the oft-repeated mantra, first coined by Stanley Baldwin in 1932, which emphasised that the only realistic form of defence was offence. This belief determined the UK’s military strategy, with more attention, and resources, being devoted to bomber production rather than fighters. With bombers able to fly at hundreds of miles an hour, by the time the incoming aircraft had been detected, it would be too late to scramble fighters to intercept them. That was until Sir Henry Tizard and his colleagues first demonstrated that radar (or Radio Direction Finding…

By Air Marshal Sir Arthur McDonald KCB, AFC, FRAeS, DL

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