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A Contemporary Account of the Air War in France May 1940,
This review is from: Fighter Pilot (Hardcover)
There are few first hand accounts in English of the fighting in France in May and June 1940, as the French army collapsed and the Germans marched into Paris. Paul Richey, a pilot with RAF No1 Squadron flying Mk 1 Hurricanes, describes the success of the Hurricane against overwhelming odds, with handfuls of RAF fighters being deployed against massed German bombers and their accompanying fighters. No I Squadron performed amazingly, by the time it was withdrawn from France it had shot down 155 German aircraft, 114 of them in ten days. The Squadron had three pilots killed.
The author also expressing his love of France and notes the work of fifth columnists who killed allied officers and disturbed communications. When he was shot down for the third time he was operated on in the American Hospital in Paris and describes the terrible atmosphere in June 1940 as Paris prepared for its occupation.
As he returned to England and looked down from the air, he writes that he "saw a game of cricket in progress on a village pitch. With my mind still filled with the blast and flame that had shattered France, I was seized with utter disgust at the smug insular contentedness England enjoyed behind her sea barrier."
Paul Richey was not only a hero, he can also write well and brings the flavour of those terrible times to life.