From the eyes of a pilot, the Battle of Britain


My wonderful boyfriend bought me this book around two and a half years ago now, as a small present, and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it! I picked it up on Remembrance Day (11th November) and finished it a little while later as the text was a lot smaller than I had anticipated!! I still did really enjoy this book, however, with the insight from Flight Officer Tom Neil who brought down 19 enemy planes during the Battle of Britain and survived to tell his story.

This is not a somber book. There are of course moments of death and mourning, but Neil chooses not to linger on them, and in all it is quite a positive attitude that prevails throughout. Learning more about the contributions that the RAF (Royal Air Force) made at that time was incredibly interesting as despite being a self confessed lover of WWII based books, I haven’t read much from the RAF point of view and therefore was quite lacking in knowledge about the topic. Thanks to this book, I now know a lot more, and it keeps you interested and hooked.

Neil writes well, and that of course is a main component, but also, the personal touches that are shown. The little habits of the boys, how they lived each day, what they worried about and joked about. Knowing that those were real, they weren’t fabricated from knowledge of the time, they were what Tom and his friends were really talking and thinking about. It makes it all so much more real. Despite how long ago this was, it really brought me right there with them in a way that I haven’t really experienced before.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone British, to learn more about the contributions of the RAF to the Battle of Britain in a more personal manner than a textbook could portray, and also to anyone interested in the era. This is definitely a good book to add to your repertoire and one which will provide you with much information. I gave it 4.5*

5 thoughts on “From the eyes of a pilot, the Battle of Britain”

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