Unflinching Zeal: The Air Battles Over France and Britain, May-October 1940 (BOK)

Robin Higham

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The main purpose and theme of The Air Battles of 1940 Over France and Britain is to show how realistic assessments of strengths and losses of both sides are an absolute necessity for commanders in addition to their understanding of the principles of war, the assets and limitations of air power, and their comprehension of production, supply, and sustainability.
This consequential work by a pioneer aviation historian fills a significant lacuna in the story of the defeat of France in May-June 1940 and more fully explains the Battle of Britain of July-October of that year and the influence it had on the Luftwaffe in the 1941 invasion of the USSR.
Robin Higham approaches the subject by sketching the story and status of the three air forces?the Armee de l'Air, the Luftwaffe, and the Royal Air Force?their organization and preparation for their battles. He then dissects the the campaigns, their losses and replacement policies and abilities. He paints the struggles of France and Britain from both the background provided by his recent Two Roads to War: From Versailles to Dunkirk (NIP, 2012) and from the details of losses tabulated by After the Battle's The Battle of Britain (1982, 2nd ed.) and Peter Cornwell's The Battle of France Then and Now (2007), as well as in Paul Martin's Invisible Vainqueurs (1990) and from the Luftwaffe summaries in the British National Archives Cabinet papers.
One important finding is that the consumption and wastage was not nearly as high as claimed. The three air forces actually shot down only 19 percent of the number claimed. In the RAF case, in the summer of 1940, 44 percent of those shot down were readily repairable thanks to the salvage and repair organizations. This contrasted with the much lower 8 percent for the Germans and zero for the French.
Brave as the aircrews may have been, the inescapable conclusion is that awareness of consumption, wastage, and sustainability were intimately connected to survival.


Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 2012 Forfatter Robin Higham
ISBN 9781612511115
Antall sider 352 Dimensjoner 15,2cm x 22,9cm x 2,8cm
Vekt 717 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Military history, Air forces & warfare