Through Adversity

Britain and the Commonwealth's War in the Air 1939-45, Volume 1

Ben Kite

Through Adversity is probably the most comprehensive account of Britain and the Commonwealth's war in the air during the Second World War. It combines detailed studies into the tactics, techniques and technology that made British air power so effective, together with the personal accounts of the aircrew themselves as they executed some of the most
Date Published :
January 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
155 b/w photos, 14 color maps, 6 figures
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781912866236
Pages : 508
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock


Through Adversity is a unique book that provides a comprehensive account of Britain and the Commonwealth’s war in the air during the Second World War. It combines detailed studies into the tactics, techniques and technology,together with the personal accounts of the aircrew themselves as they executed some of the most hazardous operations of the war.

Through Adversity is exceptional in the breadth of the war it covers. Twenty-five separate chapters explain all aspects of the air war ranging from subjects such as the air defense of Britain to anti-shipping strikes in the Mediterranean or close air support missions in Burma. Even some of the rarer elements of British air power are given an appropriate place in this book.

Through Adversity has a global and cosmopolitan feel to it. It includes exciting and thought-provoking accounts from not only RAF personnel, but also those of the RAAF, RNZAF, RCAF, SAAF, The Fleet Air Arm, as well as Poles, Frenchmen and other personnel from occupied countries.

It is exceptionally well illustrated with over 150 photographs and diagrams, many never published before, as well as over 15 maps and diagrams. The book will undoubtedly appeal not only to aficionados, who will find considerable new information and insights, but also the more general reader who will appreciate it as the most comprehensive book written on Britain’s war in the air to date.

About The Author

Ben Kite is a serving senior British Army Officer. He has served in a variety of different roles in his thirty year Army career including deployments to Belize, Bosnia, Kurdistan, South Africa, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. His service included operational roles with Royal Marine and Royal Air Force Units. Ben Kite has instructed at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and is a graduate of the Higher Command and Staff Course. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the British Commission for Military History. He is the author of the best-selling Stout Hearts -The British and Canadians in Normandy 1944, published in 2014 to wide acclaim.


"...impressed me from the moment I flicked through the pages...I recommend this book to everyone with an interest in WWII and the Air War."


"...valuable to the study of British air power in World War II."

- Air Power History

"...the first half of an excellent reference work for historians, history buffs, and especially those seeking to understand what the air war was like for their Commonwealth ancestors in skies and at airfields across the world."

- From Balloons to Drones

"...a veritable tome of top-quality history, clearly based on meticulous research and some thoughtful analysis of archive material, anecdotal accounts and a myriad of data. The standard of production is second to none, each chapter is packed with carefully selected pictures and outstanding maps. I unreservedly recommend this book and I am already looking forward to the second volume.''

- The Military Historical Society Bulletin

‘’This book is no dreary tome. It is a very well written and engrossing read where the author has achieved the difficult task of blending descriptions of policy and strategy with that of the individual airman into a cohesive narrative. Highly recommended.’’

- Britain at War

‘’...this is a masterly piece of scholarship accessible to both the lay reader and aviation enthusiast and, remarkably, is first of Brigadier Kite’s two-volume series. In fact, the 59 pages he devotes to the campaign more than brings it to life by judicious use of first-hand accounts... Well-written and superbly illustrated, this book will appeal to both general readers and RAF personnel past, present and potential – and not just because the foreword is written by the current Chief of the Air Staff!’’

- RAF News

"This is a most valuable contribution to the distinguished history of the Royal Marines, and is particularly relevant to Defence today."

- Aerospace Magazine

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