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Last of the Few
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After the fall of France in May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force was miraculously evacuated from Dunkirk. Britain now stood alone to face Hitler s inevitable invasion attempt. For the German Army to be landed across the Channel, Hitler needed mastery of the skies the RAF would have to be broken so every day, throughout the summer, German bombers pounded the RAF air bases in the southern counties. Greatly outnumbered by the Luftwaffe, the pilots of RAF Fighter Command scrambled as many as five times a day, and civilians watched skies criss-crossed with the contrails from the constant dogfights between Spitfires and Me-109s. Britain s very freedom depended on the outcome of that summer s battle. Britain s air defences were badly battered and nearly broken, but against all odds, The Few , as they came to be known, bought Britain s freedom many with their lives. These are the personal accounts of the pilots who fought and survived that battle. We will not see their like again.
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The riveting and moving personal accounts of the RAF pilots who fought and survived the Battle of Britain.

About the Author

Max Arthur is the author of best-selling Forgotten Voices of the Great War and Forgotten Voices of the Second World War. Dambusters (also published by Virgin Books) was one of The Times / WH Smith's '50 Paperbacks of the Year' for 2009.

Reviews

"Vastly outnumbered and often less experienced than their opponents, the 2,500 young men of the Royal Air Force who fought in the Battle of Britain would be lauded by Churchill as The Few. The survivors of that campaign are now in their eighties or nineties, their ranks thinning by the year. In his new book, Last of the Few, Max Arthur brings together the voices of the living and the dead to recreate the events of July-October 1940, when vapour trails against a blue sky marked the battle to save civilisation" * Daily Telegraph * "Entertaining and moving ... This is a brilliant introduction for anyone seeking to understand the origins and outcomes of the battle. A dramatic tale, well told" * The News of the World * "No one can relive the battle except the men who fought it, and here they are in a tide of telling testimony...expertly tracked down and anthologised by out foremost oral historian of war, the self0effacing Max Arthur...Read it and remember" * The Daily Mail *

British oral historian Arthur (Forgotten Voices of the Second World War) has gathered the personal remembrances of many Battle of Britain vets. The recollections are not arranged by veteran (although each memory is attributed) but by the chronology of experience from learning to fly, to signing up, to actual battle experiences. Because the entries are so short, readers will feel that they are missing many more details from each oral history. There are no source notes, but most of these memories evidently come from recorded interviews held by the Imperial War Museum, not just of flying veterans but of ground crew members and radio and warning networks, as well as a few Germans. With many photos of particular veterans in uniform. A chronology and organizational charts would have been nice additions. VERDICT A readable complement to James Holland's The Battle of Britain, this will reward readers in search of primary sources on the subject. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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