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The Fallen Few of the Battle of Britain (Hardback)

Aviation Battle of Britain

By Norman Franks, Nigel McCrery
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 189
ISBN: 9781473827875
Published: 5th October 2015

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'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few' – Seventy-five years on the unforgettable words of Winston Churchill ring as powerfully as they did in August 1940 when the young men of the RAF stood as the last line of defence against Hitler's far more powerful Luftwaffe.

This emotional yet factual book describes the three and a half months (10 July – 31 October 1940) battle day-by-day and covers the essential details of every one of the 540 young pilots who died in this critical campaign that saved Britain from invasion by the Nazis.

Thanks to the authors painstaking research we are given a short biography of each pilots and learn of their actions and the manner of their deaths, their squadrons and planes.

The result is a unique record and fitting memorial of the courage and sacrifice of this select band of heroes. The text is enhanced by photographs of the individuals themselves.

This is a very useful reference about those who gave up their lives in the Battle and will help us remember them.

Aeroplane Monthly July 2016

This emotional yet factual book describes the three and a half months battle day by day and covers the essential details of every one of the 540 young pilots who died in this critical campaign that saved Britain from invasion by the Nazis.

Pennant May 2016

The Fallen Few of the Battle of Britain presents a complete list of officers and men who lost their lives, day by day, month by month, during the battle, building a slight picture of the battle as it unfolded. It gives the aircraft types they flew as well as their squadrons, along side cause of death or aircraft loss and final resting place. Where available such details as age, family and service background have also been shared.

Aside from being a lasting memorial it also goes further by attempting to put faces to their names and a little information about each, such as their known victories, reminding us that they were indeed living personalities and not just names on a Roll of Honour. It does make for sad reading, considering all were lost but it is a living memorial to their sacrifices.

The authors have also included a list of "Battle of Britain" squadrons, giving their call signs, codes and aircraft flown, which is valuable in terms of general research as well as aiding referencing within the book. Furthermore, an alphabetical list of the causalities at the back of the book allows quick referencing and name retrieval.

Presented in a poignant yet attractive dust cover, the book is hardback with just under 200 pages. It is well structured, with each of the four main chapters arranged chronologically, focused on a single month of conflict. The first chapters give an overview of the battle, while the last list relevant support information as described previously.

The value of this book is concerned uniquely with the personal tragedies and sacrifices made by those that failed to return, it's focus is on the individuals opposed to the aces and dogfights. It would be especially interesting to a student of history or indeed historian, and certainly compliments any Battle of Britain history or memoir that you may have on your bookshelf.

OCAD Militaria Collectors Resources - Olivier Dorrell

'The Fallen Few is a fitting record and timely memorial celebrating the courage and sacrifice of this select band of heroes.'

Essence Magazine
 Norman Franks

About Norman Franks

Norman Franks is a respected historian and author. Previous titles for Pen and Sword include, In the Footsteps of the Red Baron (1990) The Fighting Cocks (2010), Fighter Pilots Over Burma (2014), Great War Fighter Aces (2014) and Dowding's Eagles (2015). He lives in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.


About Nigel McCrery

Born in 1953, Nigel McCrery travelled extensively during his childhood as his father was in the RAF. They settled in Nottingham.

He served in the Nottinghamshire Constabulary between 1978 and 1987. He then read History at Trinity College, Cambridge and joined the BBC graduate entry course. He has written or been responsible for a number of highly successful BBC series and films including Silent Witness, New Tricks and All The Kings Men. He has written over a dozen novels. Into Touch - Rugby Players Killed in The Great War and The Final Wicket - Test and First Class Cricketers killed in The Great War is in print with Pen and Sword Military. Nigel lives in Nottingham.

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