This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, in which the RAF successfully defended the UK against extensive air attacks from the German Luftwaffe during World War II. This fierce battle of the skies has come to be recognised as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces, and is considered a defining moment for the RAF during the war.
Whilst the start and end dates of the battle are – amazingly – still being debated 80 years later, we British recognise the battle as spanning from 10th July – 31st October 1940. And so, to commemorate the start of this historic campaign, this week we wanted to transport you back in time with our top 5 Battle of Britain books!
- Spitfire! by Brian Lane
Written just a year after his first-hand experiences in the Battle of Britain, this classic memoir from Squadron Leader Brian Lane recounts his time in the RAF during WWII. One of only a few accounts to be published during the war, Spitfire! includes poignant reflections of Lane’s thoughts and feelings when fighting in the skies, and serves as a richly detailed testament to the bravery of the RAF.
2. Summer of No Surrender by Richard Bickers
In this action-packed thriller, the war has become personal for one British officer and his German nemesis. As a former RAF officer himself during WWII, Richard Townsend Bickers writes with insight and experience to paint a convincing portrait of the young airmen fighting for the future of Europe from both sides in this unputdownable novel…
3. Battle of Britain Day by Alfred Price
Of all the action during the Battle of Britain, the most famous has to be that of 15th September 1940. Now commemorated each year as ‘Battle of Britain Day’, it saw the RAF claim what proved to be a decisive victory over the German Luftwaffe.
This detailed history brilliantly chronicles the momentous events of that day, as seen through the eyes of more than sixty witnesses – both in the air and on the ground.
4. Facets of War by Edna Dawes
Set against the turbulent skies of WWII, this gripping historical saga tells the story of two young RAF men who, unknown to each other, are irrevocably linked by curious circumstances…
A perfect read for fans of Beryl Kingston and Mary Ann Shaffer!
5. The Battle of Britain by Robert Jackson
Former pilot and RAFVR Squadron Leader, Robert Jackson, takes us to the heart of the action in this evocative Battle of Britain thriller. As the quiet of the Yorkshire countryside is abruptly shattered by Germany’s attack on Norway, the lives of the airmen and neighbouring villagers become inevitably intertwined as the RAF prepare to face the German onslaught from across the Channel…