Fly­ing aces

Bat­tle of Bri­tain: Model Squadron

BBC History Magazine - - Tv & Radio -

TV Chan­nel 4 starts Sun­day 9 Septem­ber

In this am­bi­tious new ex­per­i­ment, the skies over Bri­tain’s south coast are filled with the roars of Messer­schmitts and Spit­fires. How­ever, this is aerial war­fare with a dif­fer­ence – the planes go­ing head to head have empty cock­pits, and wing­spans of less than five feet.

A hun­dred years on from the birth of the RAF, the UK and Ger­many’s most en­thu­si­as­tic model air­plane pi­lots have joined forces to recre­ate one of the air force’s tough­est chal­lenges – the Bat­tle of Bri­tain. Fought be­tween July and Septem­ber 1940, the bat­tle to control Bri­tain’s skies was, of course, a key moment in the Sec­ond World War. Over three episodes, mil­i­tary his­to­rian James Hol­land guides us through three key en­coun­ters that shaped the course of the bat­tle. Recre­at­ing th­ese fate­ful dog­fights, the model pi­lots take on hair-rais­ing ma­noeu­vres to un­cover the tac­tics and strate­gies in­volved in achiev­ing aerial dom­i­nance. Of course, the stakes will never be as high as in 1940. But it’s cer­tainly an in­ven­tive way to re­mem­ber the skill and courage of those who flew in some of his­tory’s most dra­matic aerial bat­tles.

Bri­tish and Ger­man model air­plane pi­lots join forces in Bat­tle of Bri­tain: Model Squadron

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