5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Who Won the Battle of Britain? (Paperback)
Everyone undertaking serious study of the Battle of Britain or Battle for Britain should read this book. Why - because here is one of the few of the few prepared to challenge the trumpeted achievements of his his own service - and as he was there - he has qualifications that most air historians lack. Of course, it isn't perfect. He is too hard on the inter-war decision makers, perhaps a tad harsh on Lord Dowding and maybe even disingenuous when it comes to his remarks about the desirability of fitting Colt 0.5 machine guns to the Spitfire. None of this means his allegations can be summarily dismissed as fantasy. Like it or not, the RAF fought the battle with inappropriate flying formations, rigid thinking, a defensive mindset and with its two most important group commanders locked in a bitter quarrel. Radar may have been a brilliant invention and the system of disseminating information undeniably clever but in 1940, it was only about 50% effective - a far cry from what most people understand about the situation today. Allen was undoubtedly correct in his conclusion that the Battle of Britain was really Operation Sealion - the invasion battle that was never fought - and the real reason this was never fought was because the German naval planners were terrified of the Royal Navy - a theme expanded upon by writers such as Derek Robinson,Anthony Cumming and Geoff Hewitt.