The Battle of Britain has acquired near-legendary status as one of the most iconic events of the 20th century. This new history, based on an exhaustive study of German records, explores the battle through the eyes of the Luftwaffe.
Over the past 77 years, histories of the Battle of Britain have consistently portrayed the feats of “The Few” (as they were immortalized in Churchill's famous speech) as being responsible for the RAF's victory in the epic battle. However, this is only part of the story. The results of an air campaign cannot be measured in terms of territory captured, cities occupied, or armies defeated, routed, or annihilated. Successful air campaigns are those that achieve their intended aims or stated objectives. Victory in the Battle of Britain was determined by whether the Luftwaffe achieved its objectives.
The Luftwaffe, of course, did not, and this detailed and rigorous study explains why. Analyzing the battle in its entirety in the context of what it was--history's first independent offensive counter-air campaign against the world's first integrated air defense system--Douglas C. Dildy and Paul F. Crickmore set out to re-examine this remarkable conflict. Presenting the events of the Battle of Britain in the context of the Luftwaffe's campaign and RAF Fighter Command's battles against it, this title is a new and innovative history of the battle that kept alive the Allies' chances of defeating Nazi Germany.
“An incredible book offering insights into the crucial air battle over England never before revealed. It provides an operational-level view of the war from the German perspective yielding a unique study that is a must-read for students and practitioners of airpower alike.” —Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.); Dean, Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
"Superbly illustrated book... To Defeat the Few will find pride of place on the shelves of many readers, offering an interesting and intermediate level between the entirely strategic study of this campaign and the battles as close as possible to the pilots and crew." - Aerostories.org
"Unlike previous literary works on the subject, this brilliantly written and epic rendering details the Luftwaffe’s all-out attempt to crush RAF Fighter Command during the two most decisive months of the Battle of Britain from the German perspective. The authors have successfully placed the reader behind the Luftwaffe’s strategic and tactical decisions employed in their quest to establish air-superiority for their planned cross-Channel invasion. This deeply researched work is of the highest quality containing original photos, illustrations, charts, and graphs on almost every page in support of their script and belongs in every library of those interested in the historical defense of England during this most critical time of World War II!" - Rick Bishop, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
"This is a very worthwhile book and represents a more than laudable effort on the part of Douglas Dildy and Paul Crickmore... a 'must have/must read' for those who study the battle. Highly recommended." - Andy Saunders, Iron Cross
"This is a fascinating spin on this well-trod World War II campaign, providing a distinctive case study on the challenges of a strategic air campaign to gain air dominance over a tough and determined foe. Extremely well-illustrated and equipped with a variety of excellent maps to show the progress of the campaign, it provides the first genuine operational analysis of the battle from the German side of Britain’s ‘Finest Hour.’ " - New York Journal of Books
"To Defeat the Few meets Osprey Publishing's high standards of visual appeal, featuring hundreds of photographs of leaders on both sides … Superb full-color maps show British airfields and radar stations, as well as the sites of planned Operation Sealion landings.” - Michigan War Studies Review