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  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

Battle of Britain: The pilots and planes that made history

Simon Pearson, Ed Gorman

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Second World War

An original, 360-degree re-telling of the Battle of Britain through 18 of the iconic (and some less well-known) aircraft and the pilots who flew them - British, Polish, New Zealander, German, Danish.

While the Battle of Britain and the iconic Spitfire remain a source of great pride to the average Briton, it is remarkable how little is known and understood about this episode in our history.

In The Battle of Britain in 18 Aircraft Ed Gorman and Simon Pearson paint a vivid picture of the men and their machines as the battle for air superiority over Britain is played out across the skies of Europe from western Ireland to the German capital.

They tell remarkable stories involving hitherto unknown airmen from across the world who flew aircraft that will be new to many readers: the New Zealander who "borrowed" a seaplane from the Royal Navy to set up a freelance air-sea rescue service that saved the lives of dozens of British and German pilots; the Swiss baron who destroyed nine British fighters in a day; the vainglorious Dane whose RAF squadron was wiped out trying to disrupt Nazi invasion plans; and the German bomber pilot who fought the last battle involving foreign troops on British soil since Culloden - before repairing to a pub in Kent for a pint in with soldiers from the Irish Rifle, who had taken him prisoner.

Illustrated with contemporary photographs of the pilots and their aircraft, and in-depth technical drawings, these are stories from both sides of a conflict that shaped the outcome of the Second World War and which continue to fascinate people in Britain and all over the world. They are full of courage, endeavour and above all, humanity.

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Simon Pearson

Simon Pearson has worked on The Times since 1986. His interest in military history was stimulated by his father who served with the RAF in World War Two. He is the author of the bestselling The Great Escaper, published in 2013 and described by the Sunday Times as 'enthralling, an astounding story of honour and resilience'.

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