If you like military history, and the Battle of Britain, this is a very remarkable book. It is not a narrative history. From cover to cover, it consists of long and short 1st person quotes from RAF pilots recounting missions they flew during the 4-5 month long Battle of Britain. It puts you in the cockpit with them, day after day as they take off and fight wave after wave of German fighters and bombers. To say it is riveting is putting it mildly. With typically dry British humor, they describe the chaos and confusion of fast dogfights, victories, defeats, and getting shot down by enemy planes they didn’t even see. Through it, you see their fears, not so much of dying, but of being badly wounded or perhaps badly burned or maimed. Pressure? Tension? Nothing less than the survival of Britain and ultimately the war itself was on their shoulders. Yet they somehow hung on, kept going up, and won the battle by holding off the German onslaught and not losing. Interestingly, Arthur was also able to get quotes from the Luftwaffe aces they were facing, and we get a nice picture of the problems they faced as well. It is a remarkable book.
William F. Brown
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