Battle of Britain 1940...

...the Luftwaffe's 'Eagle Attack',  from Osprey Publishing

Title: Battle of Britain 1940

Author: Douglas C. Dildy

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2057-0

This is the first of a new 'Air Campaign' series from Osprey Publishing, so perhaps a natural topic for the first book, the Battle of Britain. As you might expect, it matches the style we expect from Osprey, mixing well informed text mixed with archive photos, clear maps and some excellent artwork.

Starting with an introduction that sets the scene, how the Luftwaffe were set the task to secure air superiority over the area of the South East corner of Britain and the English Channel, to enable a seaborne invasion of Britain.  The German Luftwaffe was fresh from a significant victory over Poland as well as Holland, Belgium and France.  With the defeat of the BEF and the subsequent evacuation at Dunkirk, Britain was on the back foot.  So, how would the campaign we know of today as the 'Battle of Britain' turn out.

Following the Introduction there is a Chronology of events, and then an examination of the Attackers Capabilities that includes their standard attack formations and a full Luftwaffe Order of Battle.  The Defender's Capabilities come next, which again features standard formations, the arrangement of the integrated air defence system, and of course the RAF Order of Battle.  Chapter 5 considers the Campaign Objectives before chapter 6 details the course of events of the campaign itself.  The final chapter looks at the Aftermath and Analysis, which considers some of the 'if's and Maybe's' of the battle.  How much did the Luftwaffe and the high command and the lack of accurate intelligence contribute to the failure of the Luftwaffe campaign.

This is a good new examination of the Battle of Britain, and is a fine start to this new Osprey series.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.

Robin