Review: Battle of Britain

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Review: Battle of Britain

Post by Marcus » 03 Apr 2011 17:48

A review of "Battle of Britain" by Dr Alfred Price.
Björn Hellqvist wrote:With the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2010, there were some commemorative books published. One of them, the aptly named Battle of Britain, was kindly submitted to us for a review by Ian Allan Publishing. The author served in the RAF during the Cold War, and knows his subject well. At 144 pages, the book is somewhere between introductory books and more in-depth works. The book is profusely illustrated with some 230 photos (mostly in black and white, many of them never published before), as well as many maps, sketches and tables. In fact, the main narrative is a mere 27-28 pages in length, with many more pages from diaries, interviews and the like. For all its brevity, the book manages to cram a lot of information into a rather slim volume. The text is even-handed, not forgetting the pilots and other aircrew of the Luftwaffe, and avoids jingoism with plucky Brits against hunnish Fritz. Instead of attempting a detailed chronicle, the author gives the overall story, and chooses to cover a few engagements in more detail in order to to illuminate the development of the air war. The book succeeds in giving an understanding of the subject, but it isn't without problems. As the main text is just about 20 % of the book, it means that it is constantly interrupted by up to 20 pages of photos, tables, reminiscenses by pilots, and so on, making it easy to lose track of the narrative. I hope the editor chooses a different approach in future publications. There's a bibliography, but the absence of an index makes it hard to look up individual pilots, places, units, etc. Despite its flaws, which are mostly due to editing decisions, I feel I can recommend the book to the reader who wants an introductory book with plenty of detail and insights by the men who fought in the battle. I give it three strong stars out of five.
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