To Defeat the Few

The Luftwaffe’s campaign to destroy RAF Fighter Command, August–September 1940

To Defeat the Few cover

To Defeat the Few

The Luftwaffe’s campaign to destroy RAF Fighter Command, August–September 1940


The Battle of Britain has acquired near-legendary status as one of the most iconic events of the 20th century. This new history, based on an exhaustive study of German records, explores the battle through the eyes of the Luftwaffe.

Over the past 77 years, histories of the Battle of Britain have consistently portrayed the feats of “The Few” (as they were immortalized in Churchill's famous speech) as being responsible for the RAF's victory in the epic battle. However, this is only part of the story. The results of an air campaign cannot be measured in terms of territory captured, cities occupied, or armies defeated, routed, or annihilated. Successful air campaigns are those that achieve their intended aims or stated objectives. Victory in the Battle of Britain was determined by whether the Luftwaffe achieved its objectives.

The Luftwaffe, of course, did not, and this detailed and rigorous study explains why. Analyzing the battle in its entirety in the context of what it was--history's first independent offensive counter-air campaign against the world's first integrated air defense system--Douglas C. Dildy and Paul F. Crickmore set out to re-examine this remarkable conflict. Presenting the events of the Battle of Britain in the context of the Luftwaffe's campaign and RAF Fighter Command's battles against it, this title is a new and innovative history of the battle that kept alive the Allies' chances of defeating Nazi Germany.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: A history of Battle of Britain histories; 2. Hitler's Western Campaign: Prologue to the Battle;
3. Hitler's strategic options: July 1940; 4. The Luftwaffe's capabilities; 5. The Luftwaffe's opponent; 6. Channel Battles: The opening round 2 July – 6 August.; 7. Eagle Attack Phase I: Attacks between 12-18; 8. Eagle Attack Phase II: Attacks between 24 August-6 September; 9. Eagle Attack Phase III: Attacks between 7-30 September; 10. Defeat dies slowly; 11. What next? Hitler's strategic options revisited, October 1940-May 1941; 12. Analysis: Assessing the Battle of Britain from the Luftwaffe's Perspective; Appendices; Endnotes; Source Citations; Selected Bibliography; Index

Product details

Published Aug 04 2020
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 384
ISBN 9781472839183
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 300 colour and mono images, 8 maps and 5 graphics
Dimensions 242 x 190 mm
Series General Aviation
Short code GNA
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Douglas C. Dildy

Douglas C. Dildy is a retired US Air Force colonel…


Paul F. Crickmore

Paul F. Crickmore is the author of the much-acclai…


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