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Firstly, I'm no expert on history so can't answer for the accuracy of the text and the range of material used in writing this history. For me as a general (female) reader it was a gripping read, especially as the role of women – as noted in the subtitle is well-covered with some illuminating interviews describing their lives and new found freedoms and responsibilities. That the RAF routed the German Luftwaffe during WWII is well-known, less well-known perhaps is just how desperate the fight was and it was this struggle – against destruction and possible invasion that really held my attention. Sinclair McKay vividly conveys the benzedrine fuelled exploits of the pilots, the infighting between the brass-hats and he is especially good at the development of the technologies, the radar, guns and planes that helped the RAF as they progressed from a small force building their reserves to the triumphs of the Battle of Britain and on to the controversial bombing raids over Germany.
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During the dark days of 1940, when Britain faced the might of Hitler's armed forces alone, the RAF played an integral role in winning the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, thus ensuring the country's safety from invasion. The men and women of Fighter Command worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout the length and breadth of Britain to thwart the Nazi attacks; The Secret Life of Fighter Command tells their story. From setting up the ground-breaking radar systems along the coast of the Southeast of England, to the distribution of spotters of bombing waves coming along the Thames Estuary, the boffins who designed and built the guidance and detection structures to organise a winning defence umbrella, to the Wrens who plotted enemy movements and then conveyed this to the various RAF squadrons stationed in the UK's zonal defence system ---- all of them played a part in maintaining the security over Britain. Through exclusive interviews with various members of this unique and world famous organisation, bestselling author Sinclair McKay tells the human story of how Britain survived the Nazi onslaught and enabled our Hurricanes and Spitfires to triumph over the German airforce.
'McKay stitches together a rich tapestry of material - some new, some familiar, including reports from the archive of The Times - to bring alive the all-engulfing drama of 1940, as Hitler's Luftwaffe attempted to establish air superiority over England as a prelude to invasion. Poetry and sharp politics.'
Simon Pearson The Times
Publication date: 05/05/2016
Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd
|Publication date:||5th May 2016|
|Publisher:||Aurum Press Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
|Categories:||Second World War, Air forces & warfare, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,|
Sinclair McKay writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and The Secret Listeners and has written books about James Bond and Hammer horror for Aurum. His next book, about the wartime Y Service during World War II, is due to be published by Aurum in 2012. He lives in London. Author photo © Liam BerginMore About Sinclair McKay