Battle of Britain

An Official History

An Official History, Mark Hillier

Written by personnel at the RAF's Air Historical Branch in the aftermath of the Second World War, this official history of the Battle of Britain is very much a story of the operations of the RAF's Fighter Command during the dark days of the summer of 1940.
Date Published :
November 2022
Publisher :
Air World
Language:
English
Illustration :
32 mono in central plate section
No associated books available.

Overview
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Written by personnel at the RAF’s Air Historical Branch in the aftermath of the Second World War, this official history of the Battle of Britain is very much a story of the operations of the RAF’s Fighter Command during the dark days of the summer of 1940.

Of principal concern to the authors was the phases by which the Luftwaffe’s offensive developed. To this end, they set out to examine how each of the various phases was executed, the effects that were seen, and what counteracting policy governed the operations of the Allied fighter squadrons. Specific facts are also revealed. For example, it was noted that Luftwaffe fighter formations could be over London within twenty minutes of the first radar plot being made, and that on occasion were reported to have dropped bombs on south-east London just seventeen minutes after being picked up by the radar stations.

While the most important features of the Battle are explored, there are others which had no small effect on the form that the aerial campaign took. These include the production and repair of aircraft, the training of pilots, signals and telecommunications, maintenance and servicing of squadrons, and engine and armament problems – all of which have each a place in any comprehensive narrative of the Battle. Nor would such a narrative be complete unless it included details of the work of Anti-Aircraft and Balloon Commands and the Observer Corps in defense, and of Bomber and Coastal Commands in the counter-offensive. All of these aspects were not ignored.

This, then, is the full story of how the Allied pilots and aircrew, supported by the Royal Navy, the Army and the civilian services, defended the United Kingdom against the large-scale assaults by Hitler’s fighters and bombers in the ‘Spitfire Summer’.

About The Author
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This official account of the Allied campaign was written for the Air Ministry and was based on information and testimonies provided by those involved in the campaign.

MARK HILLIER is a chartered surveyor who has a deep knowledge of the history of the RAF, with a particular focus on the Second World War. He is also a qualified pilot, having flown for more than twenty-two years, including many flights from the former RAF Westhampnett, now Goodwood Aerodrome. He has previously co-authored a number of successful books on aviation and has written the biography of Wing Commander Thomas Murray.

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