Boek cover The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Britain van Charles River Editors

The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Britain

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*Includes pictures of the planes used, as well as important people, places, and events during the Battle of Britain.*Discusses the run-up to the campaign and the logistics on both sides.*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.*Includes a Table of Contents. The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world except in the abodes of the guilty goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unweakened by their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. Winston Churchill, August 21, 1940. At the end of August 2012, the BBC ran a report about the commemoration of a young man who had been killed over 70 years earlier. A Battle of Britain pilot who was killed when his Spitfire crashed following a dogfight in the skies above Kent has been honored. Flying Officer Oswald St John Ossie Pigg lost his life in the crash at Elvey Farm on 1 September 1940. The 22-year-old had been involved in an aerial fight with a Messerschmitt. A plaque was unveiled near the site by his niece Stephanie Haigh and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight carried out a flypast on Thursday.Just 12 days before Piggs death, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had already immortalized the men of the Royal Air Force with one of the Wests most famous war-time quotes. But the sentiment and gratitude Churchill expressed back in 1940 is very much alive today. The sacrifice made by The Few, the British and Allied fighter pilots who won the Battle of Britain in 1940, remains close to the hearts of the British public, and the piece by the BBC is typical of the national sentiment manifested in air shows, museums, TV programs and books. Even as the last of The Few pass on, it seems unlikely that the legend they helped to create will be forgotten anytime soon. There are a number of reasons for that, chief among them the belief that it was this handful of men, many of them barely out of school, who prevented Nazi Germany from conquering Britain on their own. With the comfort of hindsight, historians now suggest that the picture was actually more complex than that, but the Battle of Britain, fought throughout the summer and early autumn of 1940, was unquestionably epic in scope. The largest air campaign in history at the time, the vaunted Nazi Luftwaffe sought to smash the RAF as a prelude to German invasion, leaving the British public and its pilots engaged in what they believed was a desperate fight for national survival. Thats what it looked like to the rest of the world too, as free men everywhere held their breaths. Could these pilots, many not yet old enough to shave, avoid the fate of Poland and France? The fate of the free world, at least as Europe knew it, hung in the balance over the skies of Britain during those tense months. Thankfully, the RAF stood toe to toe with the Luftwaffe and ensured Hitlers planned invasion was permanently put on hold. The Allied victory in the Battle of Britain inflicted a psychological and physical defeat on the Luftwaffe and Nazi regime at large, and as the last standing bastion of democracy in Europe, Britain would provide the toehold for the June 1944 invasion of Europe that liberated the continent. For those reasons alone, the Battle of Britain was one of the decisive turning points of historys deadliest conflict. The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Britain comprehensively covers the lead up to the battle and the fighting itself, as well as its aftermath and enduring legacy. Along with a bibliography, maps, and pictures of important people and places, you will learn about the Battle of Britain like you never have before, in no time at all.

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