The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot's Kitbag (Paperback)
Uniforms & Equipment from the Summer of 1940 and the Human Stories Behind Them
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The scenes are familiar ones; the young ‘Brylcream Boys’ sat at dispersal waiting for the haunting call of ‘Scramble’, lounging in their shirt sleeves and fur-lined boots, their leather flying helmets lying limp by their side. But what did the RAF fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain really wear, and what vital items would their kitbags have held?
The casual air of the dashing pilots of Fighter Command in the Spitfire Summer of 1940 conceals a necessarily professional approach to their task of holding Hitler’s Luftwaffe at bay. Therefore, each item of clothing and equipment they wore and carried had a role and a function, be it for warmth and comfort, communication, or for fighting and survival.
All the objects that an RAF fighter pilot was issued with during the Battle of Britain are explored in this book in high-definition colour photographs, showing everything from the differing uniforms, to headgear, personal weapons, gloves, goggles, parachute packs and the essential Mae West life jacket. Each item is fully described and its purpose and use explained.
Relive Britain’s finest hour as never before – through the actually clothing and accoutrements of ‘The Few’.
History buffs, militaria collectors and toy soldier and model figure collectors will find a mother lode of insightful information about “The Few” in this book thanks to Hillier’s efforts.Toy Soldier & Model Figure magazine issue 238 – reviewed by Leo Winston
The author has done a splendid job in producing this volume and it is going to becomeMilitary Archive Research
one of the standard pictorial books on RAF aircrew equipment / uniforms for this Battle.
He deserves a hearty “well-done” and given the price asked for the book it is within
everyone’s price range.
All the objects that a RAF fighter pilot was issued with during the Battle of Britain are explored in this book in high-definition color photographs, showing everything, from the differing uniforms, to headgear, personal weapons, gloves, goggles, parachute packs and the essential Mae West life jacket. Each time is fully described and its purpose and use explained...AMPS Indianapolis
The book will be of much interest to both aviation historians and modelers alike.
Read the review online here.
This well presented book has been printed on coated paper to ensure the best possible reproduction of the illustrations.RAF Historical Society
An interesting and attractively laid out essay.
Very well organised, this book allows us to discover the lives of these airmen, and is addressed to the novice reader as to the amateur seeking to deepen his/her knowledge. Modellers will find interesting information on the shades of the equipment with the colour photographs.Militaria Magazine, September 2018
This is an interesting and well researched book. Although it may hold limited interested to many wargamers it would be valuable to those who are planning either “Operation Sealion” centred games to include RAF Personnel (e.g Warlord Games downed RAF Pilot) or those wanting to bring an air combat game to life with more detailed models of RAF airfields to wage war above.Wargames Illustrated
Read the complete review here.
As well as being an absorbing read, this title is a valuable reference source for historians, re-enactors, modellers and wargamers.RAF News
Article: 'Exploring Battle of Britain Kitbag' as featured byChichester Observer
Article: 'Fontwell author explores the kitbag of a Battle of Britain pilot' as featured byWest Sussex County Times and Mid Sussex Times, 5th April 2018
Article: 'WWII fighter pilot's kitbag' as featured byWest Sussex Gazette, 28th March 2018
Supported by excellent colour photography the author has compiled a first class and well researched guide to the subject. A must for collectors both novice and seasoned.Amazon
A fascinating book on a subject which is often overlooked. Reading about the actual gear the pilots wore during the Battle of Britain, coupled with many superb illustrations gives the reader a feel of those times. History in print.Michael J. Patrick, author
The Republic P-47 proved to be a formidable ground-attack aircraft and in RAF service was especially devastating during the fighting in Burma in 1945. There, the Thunderbolt was deployed using the ‘cab rank’ system that proved so effective for the Hawker Typhoons during the Battle for Normandy. Flying standing patrols close to the front line, as and when they were needed the Thunderbolts would be directed to specific targets by ground controllers deployed among the Army units in contact with the enemy. The effects of the aerial bombardment the Thunderbolts unleashed was all too often devastating.…By Angus Findon, Mark Hillier
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