Battle of Britain – in perspective

A rather interesting book came across my desk:


I started reading rather reluctantly because, over the years, the Battle of Britain has almost been “written to death”. Many authors have glorified it; others have tried to “debunk the myths”. I soon found that this book definitely fills a gap. It offers a wider and more balanced view and, what struck me most, it is aimed at the generation(s) that did not get the tales about this epic conflict handed down by their parents and grandparents. Mitch Peeke gives an excellent historical background and explains in detail why – in his view – the Battle for France and the Battle of England are Act One and Act Two of the same drama. Or, as he puts it: because of the Battle of France and the Dunkirk evacuation, Britain was not knocked out, so there had to be a Battle of Britain.

The book is heavily based on eyewitness accounts, many from members of his own family, and this guarantees a nice amount of interesting and amusing anecdotes. Thanks to this, Peeke was able to go wider afield and not only describes the aviation side but also from the perspective of the emergency services, AA gunners and a publican. The book is full of “Couleur Locale” , not surprisingly since Peeke’s family lived in Kent during those hectic days.

Peeke provides an almost day-by- day account of what happened during that crucial summer and fall of 1940. Peeke hits all the high spots: the over-optimistic German assumptions, the masterly defence strategy laid down by Dowding and Park, the infamous machinations of Leigh-Mallory (and Bader) and the cruel fact that the architects of Britain’s fighter defence were sent off ignominiously and never received official recognition for stopping the Luftwaffe.
I recommend this book highly to those readers who want to know more about the real facts of the Battle of Britain

About Kingsleyr

Thank you for visiting my blog! The posts you find here are a direct result of my research into aviation and military history. I use the information I gather as a foundation and background for my books. You may call the genre historical fiction, a story woven into a background of solid and verifiable historical facts. However, the period and region I have chosen to write about (late 1930's - 1950's in South-East Asia) are jam-packed with interesting information and anecdotes. If I'd used them all I would swamp the stories. So this blog is the next best thing. It is an "overflow area" in which I can publish whatever I think will interest you. And from the reactions I get, I deduce I am on the right track. A lot will be about aviation in the former Dutch East Indies. This, because my series of books ("The Java Gold") follows a young Dutch pilot in his struggle to survive the Pacific War and its aftermath. But there's more in the world and you'll find descriptions of cities, naval operations and what not published on this blog. Something about myself; I am a Dutch-Canadian author, living in, and working out of the magical city of Amsterdam. My lifelong interest in history and aviation, especially WW2, has led me to write articles and books on these subjects. I hope you'll enjoy them!
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4 Responses to Battle of Britain – in perspective

  1. Jim says:

    I am sure this article has touched all the
    internet visitors, its really really good piece of writing on building up new blog.


  2. mitch peeke says:

    I am so glad that you enjoyed 1940: The Battles To Stop Hitler. I would also like to thank you for your kind comments. It was indeed a labour of love for me!


    • Kingsleyr says:

      Your book stands out because you put your heart in it.
      I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the wealth of anecdotes and “couleur locale”.
      Pity there’s so little left of what once was. Manston is an example; the ghost of long ago.
      Anyway, glad you liked my review.


      • mitch peeke says:

        Hello Robert, Thanks once again. It is indeed so sad that there is so little left. Most of the old airfields are now lost under characterless housing developments that barely even pay lip service to their former days in the road names. Riverview Park, formerly RAF Gravesend, is a stupendous example.

        I have fond memories of Manston from when I was an Air Cadet. Loved the time I had there and the DH Chipmunk will forever hold a place in my heart!

        Keep up the good work!



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