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


This history, based on an exhaustive study of German records, explores The Battle of Britain through the eyes of the Luftwaffe.

Over the past 80 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. Analysing 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 defence 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

Foreword by Paul E. Eden

1. Westfeldzug: Why the Battle of Britain occurred
2. Fall Gelb: Prologue to the Battle of Britain
3. Dunkirk: Triumph without victory
4. 'Was nun?': Hitler's strategic options, July 1940
5. The Luftwaffe's Capabilities: Germany's only real means to defeat Great Britain
6. The Luftwaffe's Opponent: RAF Fighter Command
7. Kanalkampf (Channel Battle): The Luftwaffe's maritime air campaign
8. Seelöwe (Sea Lion): Hitler's plan to invade Britain
9. Adlerangriff Stage 1: 12–16 August 1940
10. Adlerangriff Stage 2: 17–19 August 1940
11. Adlerangriff Stage 3: 24 August to 6 September 1940
12. Adlerangriff Stage 4: 7–17 September 1940
13. Defeat Dies Slowly: 17 September through 31 October 1940
14. Analysis: Assessing the Battle of Britain from the Luftwaffe's perspective


Product details

Published 09 Jul 2020
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 384
ISBN 9781472839152
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 300 colour and mono images, 8 maps and 5 graphics
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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