This consequential work by a pioneer aviation historian fills a significant lacuna in the story of the defeat of France in May-June 1940 and more fully explains the Battle of Britain of July�October of that year and the influence it had on the Luftwaffe in the 1941 invasion of the USSR.
Robin Higham approaches the subject by sketching the story and status of the three air forces–the Arm�e de l�Air, the Luftwaffe, and the Royal Air Force–their organization and preparation for their battles. He then dissects the the campaigns, their losses and replacement policies and abilities. He paints the struggles of France and Britain from both the background provided by his recent Two Roads to War: From Versailles to Dunkirk (NIP, 2012) and from the details of losses tabulated by After the Battle�s The Battle of Britain (1982, 2nd ed.) and Peter Cornwell�s The Battle of France Then and Now (2007), as well as in Paul Martin�s Invisible Vainqueurs (1990) and from the Luftwaffe summaries in the British National Archives Cabinet papers.
Continue reading “Unflinching Zeal: The Air Battles Over France and Britain, May-October 1940”