RAF and Battle of Britain books - so what should I add?

Discussion in 'Modelling Books and Magazines' started by PerArduaAdAstra, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. PerArduaAdAstra

    PerArduaAdAstra New Member

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    I have decided to unpack my (small) collection of books on the RAF in WW2 and give them the pride of place they deserve on my bookshelf, and below is a list of what I have right now.

    What I would like to know is which books do you think I should be looking for to round out and expand my collection? Which is the single book that you have (or have read) that you think is the one indispensable book on the RAF and the Battle of Britain that I should try and get? Other books on the RAF in WW2 are good, but I most enjoy accounts of the BoB.

    Big order? Yep, but a group of enthusiasts is the best place that I should off with I think.

    In absolutely no particular order:

    • Ten Fighter Boys by Hubert Allen
    • Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill
    • Squadron Airborne by Elleston Trevor (fiction)
    • Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson (fiction)
    • Fly for your Life by Larry Forrester
    • The Battle of Britain by Marcel Jullian
    • The Few by Alex Kershaw
    • Dancing in the Skies by Tony Jonsson
    • The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary
    • Eagle Day by Richard Collier (one of my favorites, excellently written account)
    • The Battle of Britain by Richard Townsend Bickers (large coffee table type book)
    • The Battle of Britain, Then and Now
    • War Eagles by James Saxon Childers
    • Ginger Lacey: Fighter Pilot by Richard Townsend Bickers
    • Duel of Eagles by Peter Townsend
    • Fighter by Len Deighton
    • Bomber by Len Deighton
     
  2. Zniperguy114

    Zniperguy114 Member

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    Looks pretty good to me, but i'm no Battle of Britian expert.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    An interesting piece that I have in my collection of books is one from the UK Public Record Office titled Battlefront: The Battle of Britain. There are copies of historic documents from the battle and other interesting bits.
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    "First Light" by Geoffrey Wellum
    "Duel of Eagles" by Peter Townsend
    "Sky Spy" by Ray Holmes
    "Fighter Boys" by Patrick Bishop

    The first 3 are all personal memoirs but are superb examples of the genre (Wellum's book is my absolute favourite - beautifully written, informative and moving).

    Just a few ideas....
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I'm no Battle of Britain expert either, but I really enjoyed "The hardest day" by Alfred Price.
     
  6. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    "The Hurricane Story." by Paul Gallico is a MUST HAVE.


    It is one I own and a very old book.
     
  7. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    I own only two books specifically about Battle of Britain. First one is "Fighter-True Story of Battle of Britain" by Len Deighton which is one of my favorite books and I would highly recommend it to everyone interested in the subject.
    Second is written by Edward Bishop and titled "Their Fines Hour". First time published in US in 1968.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I need to go through those I have specifically on the Battle, but one you must add, regarded as 'The Bible', is 'The Narrow Margin', by Derek Wood/Derek Dempster. It was first published in 1961, by Hutchinson, and has since seen many re-prints and updates. Strangley, my 1970 copy does not have an ISBN number, but it should be fairly easy to locate without it - if you are able to find a copy. This is the book used as the basis for the BoB movie and, although much info has come to light since first written, it is still regarded as the definitive account of the Battle.
     
  9. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

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    I can see that Buffnut has mentioned "First Light" by Geoffrey Wellum. I second that.
    It's a brilliantly written book - straightforward and down to earth with a very dry sense of humour - of a Spitfire pilot's personal experiences in the battle of Britain.
    I can recommend it. :thumbleft:

    Cheers,

    Maria.
     
  10. PerArduaAdAstra

    PerArduaAdAstra New Member

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions. BuffNut -I have ordered Fighter Boys from Amazon and added First Light to my wish list.

    Airframes - I found Narrow Margin also on Amazon for less than $1 in good used condition (!), so that has been ordered as well.

    No matter how many accounts of the Battle I read, each one is a fresh story told from the point of view of a different combatant. Even the shorter articles in magazines like 'Flypast' retell the story each time.

    Thanks!
     
  11. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great to hear you found a copy of 'The Narrow Margin', and at a great price too!
    Another I can reccomend is 'Scramble - a narrative history of the Battle of Britain' by Norman Gelb. This is a collection of over 450 various accounts, by pilots, ground crew, WAAFs and civilians etc, and is well worth reading. My copy is soft back, don't know if it was ever released in hard back edition.
    First published 1986 by Pan Books Ltd., Cavaye Place, London SW10 9PG.
    ISBN 0 330 29382 6
    Hope this helps,
    Cheers,
    Terry.
     
  13. PerArduaAdAstra

    PerArduaAdAstra New Member

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    Score! Also on Amazon in hardcover listed in "Used Very Good Condition" and again the postage is more than the cost of the book! :)

    This is a great way to use the Amazon gift cards I got for Christmas.
     
  14. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    On the cusp of the change over
    the 10-digit ISBNs were introduced in 1970, the 13-digit version was introduced in 2007.
     
  15. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    The Hardest Day
    by Alfred Price
    The story of August 18th 1940

    Fly for your Life
    by Larry Forrester
    Biography of Robert Stanford-Tuck

    Both decent, informative reads
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    the Battle Of Britain by Richard Towshend Vickers lot of good maps showing the indivdual raids ,and which units were involved with losses indicated
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Colin. I had a feeling it would be around the time of the formalisation of the ISBN system. There is actually a number, which looks as if it might be a 'prototype' ISBN, without the lettering.
    'Fly for you Life' is a superb book on RSST's 'adventures' - I recall it making a big impression on me when I was...er...younger!
     
  18. magnu

    magnu Member

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    Lonely warrior by Jean Offenburg a personal narrative
    The most dangerous enemy by Stephen Bungay a very well researched and written account of the battle
    There is another that I can't recall the title of that deals with the Big wing controversy and debunks a lot of the myths surrounding it. Ill have a look tonight and see if I can find it.
    Wings Aflame by Doug Stokes. Biography of Victor Beamish
     
  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #19 Njaco, Feb 2, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
    I second that "The Hardest Day" by Dr. Price. Very good.

    also have...

    "Strike From The Sky" by Alexander McKee
    "Eagle Day" by Richrad Collier
    "The Sky Suspended" by Drew Middleton
    "Duel of Eagles" by Peter Townsend (see you already have)
    "The Battle of Britain" by Marcel Jullian (and you have this too)

    also the four volumes/chapters of

    "Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain" by Eric Mombeek
     
  20. PerArduaAdAstra

    PerArduaAdAstra New Member

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    I thank you for all the suggestions. My wife however, does not thank you at all! :D
     
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