An Illustrated Introduction to The Battle of Britain
By Henry Buckton
(Amberley Books, 96 pages, £9.99) The 75th anniversary of this key chapter of the Second World War has seen numerous commemorations, a flypast at the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, as well as countless newspaper and magazine articles, documentaries and books. Henry Buckton’s latest offering sets the scene, describing the organisation, ground resources, armaments and aircraft available to Fighter Command, before breaking the conflict up into phases – from the battle for the English Channel to the final phase, beginning in September 1940, when the Luftwaffe changed tactics to focus efforts on a massive bombing campaign of London. The writing is accessible and the chronological diary format takes you through the battle’s main elements at an absorbing pace.
This excellent littlell bbookk hardly breaks new ground, but its greatest strength lies with the illustrations. There are countless dramatic and dynamic paintings by Suffolk artist Joe Crowfoot, and fascinating, often rare photos, such as a hauntingly grainy colour shot of a German pilot aboard a Messerschmitt Bf 109E in flight. Also, the quality of the paper is such that the illustrations really jump out of the page. Not one for the aficionado perhaps, but as a “lavishly illustrated and accessible guide”, this does exactly what it sets out to do.
Jonathan Scott is a writer
specialising in genealogy