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Trust-backed history of the Battle launched

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Volume one of what is set to be a comprehensive guide to the Battle of Britain published in association with the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust has now been released.

Renowned author and historian Dilip Sarkar MBE, a long-standing friend of the Trust, has reached the first milestone in a series of books that will tell the story of the Battle in what looks set to top a remarkable one million words.

Battle of Britain – The Gathering Storm is the first volume of a planned eight-part work that Dilip promises will tells the story of the 1940s aerial conflict from every possible angle.

Describing the work as “an unprecedented narrative history of the Battle of Britain from as many perspectives as possible,” he said seeing volume one in print had made him “proud to see that the vision is becoming a reality”.

He added: “Part of the motivation behind this book was to create a comprehensive work on the Battle of Britain that would reinforce the Trust’s position as a go-to place for information on the events of the summer and early autumn of 1940.

“This book will be the culmination of a lifetime of research on the Battle of Britain, as well as including new and original material and taking a fresh look at much of the accepted narrative that no longer stands up to scrutiny.

“While the aim is that this will become a valuable work of reference, it is above all a lively and fascinating look at possibly the most important battle fought by this country in the whole of the 20th century. The stories I tell are fascinating, human tales of real people living out real lives in extraordinary times.”

Dilip’s detailed and comprehensive approach is highlighted by the fact that at the end of the 300-odd pages of Battle of Britain – The Gathering Storm, the Battle itself has not started. It takes, instead, a careful look at the background to the conflict, from the development of air power and political events at home through to the German invasion of Norway and the fall of France.

“I’ve never worked so hard on anything before,” Dilip commented. “As the work has progressed and evolved, so the breadth of the material and the number of threads that need to be brought together have become apparent. It’s a 360 degree look at the Battle of Britain and I’m increasingly sure that the eight volumes will total a million words.”

Battle of Britain – The Gathering Storm will be on sale in the shop and online shortly.

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