How the Spitfire Won the Battle of Britain

How the Spitfire Won the Battle of Britain

Hardback

By (author) Dilip Sarkar

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  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing
  • Format: Hardback | 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 22mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 19 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Stroud
  • ISBN 10: 1848688687
  • ISBN 13: 9781848688681
  • Sales rank: 613,823

Product description

Finally lays to rest the myth that the Hurricane won the Battle of Britain rather than the numerically inferior, yet more glamorous, Spitfire. Although there were many more Hawker Hurricanes than Supermarine Spitfires engaged in the epic conflict fought over southern England in summer 1940, the public's imagination was captured by the shapely and charismatic Spitfire. According to legend, however, the Hurricane executed far greater damage on the enemy than all other defenses combined, and was therefore the unsung hero of our 'Finest Hour'. New research, though, confirms that the Spitfire, although less in number, was in fact supreme, and destroyed an equal number of enemy machines to the more numerous Hurricane force. Featuring interviews with pilots who flew to war in both Spitfires and Hurricanes, and following a detailed analysis of combat reports and casualty records, Dilip Sarkar shatters the myth and argues a persuasive case proving that the Hurricane was markedly inferior to the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain - which could have been won by Spitfires, but not Hurricanes, alone. A controversial thesis likely to provoke lively debate, the evidence presented by this retired police detective and expert aviation historian is nonetheless indisputable.

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Author information

Fascinated by the Battle of Britain since childhood, Dilip Sarkar remains both moved and inspired by the story of Churchill's fabled Few, those young airmen who stood between freedom and a Britain dominated by Nazi Germany. Since the 1970s he has met and interviewed more Battle of Britain pilots than any other historian. He has researched the subject thoroughly and has published over twenty books, including THE FEW: THE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN IN THE WORDS OF THE PILOTS ('Captivating - written by an acknowledged expert on the Battle of Britain' PROFESSOR GARY SHEFFIELD, 'A well-researched, detailed chronicle of the Battle of Britain - written by the men who fought so bravely to repulse the German raiders' HUGH SEBAG-MONTEFIORE), LAST OF THE FEW: 18 BATTLE OF BRITAIN FIGHTER PILOTS TELL THEIR EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ('Dilip knows more about me and the pilots with whom I flew during the Battle of Britain than we do! If anyone ever needs to know anything about the RAF during the summer of 1940, don't ask the Few, ask him!' GEORGE 'GRUMPY' UNWIN, Battle of Britain fighter ace), SPITFIRE! THE EXPERIENCES OF A BATTLE OF BRITAIN FIGHTER PILOT ('A very fine and vivid account' MAX ARTHUR), THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN: THE PHOTOGRAPHIC KALEIDOSCOPE ('An excellent book' LADY BADER), BADER'S TANGMERE SPITFIRES ('A most diligent and carefully researched account' JOHNNIE JOHNSON, the RAF's top scoring fighter ace in WW2), FIGHTER PILOT ('This book deserves to achieve success' DAME VERA LYNN). In 2003, Dilip was made an MBE for services to aviation history, and elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. He lives in Worcester.

Review quote

'Dilip Sarkar understands perfectly the mysteries of air tactics and strategy' PETER TOWNSEND, Battle of Britain fighter ace