The Battle of Britain: The Many and the Few

Richard Overy looks behind the myth of a vulnerable island defended by a small band of fighter pilots to give due credit to the courage of the redoubtable civilian population.

A Royal Observer Corps spotter scans the skies of London

The Battle of Britain is once again high profile. The more time passes since the summer of 1940, the more fervently it is recalled as a moment of British (though often presented as English) triumph in defence of that intangible ‘way of life’ that democracies continue to boast about. It is a history boiled down to a modern-day David and Goliath story, a plucky few against the evil many.

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