Victor of the Battle of Britain
By Leo McKinstry
The biography of the aeroplane that won the Battle of Britain, for the seventieth anniversary
In the summer of 1940 the fate of Europe hung in the balance. Victory in the forthcoming air battle would mean national survival; defeat would establish German tyranny.
The Luftwaffe greatly outnumbered the RAF, but during the Battle of Britain it was the RAF that emerged triumphant, thanks to two key fighter planes, the Spitfire and the Hurricane. The Hurricane made up over half of Fighter Command's front-line strength, and its revolutionary design transformed the RAF's capabilities.
Leo McKinstry tells the story of the remarkable plane from its designers to the first-hand testimonies of those brave pilots who flew it; he takes in the full military and political background but always keeps the human stories to the fore - to restore the Hawker Hurricane to its rightful place in history.
Leo McKinstry writes regularly for the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator . He has also written five books including a study of the Labour Party and a best-selling biography of the footballing Charlton brothers. Born in Belfast he was educated in Ireland and at Cambridge University.
- Other details
- Publication date:
06 Jan 2011
- Page count:
'Superb volume . . . great merit of [his] style . . . enthralling . . .' — Literary Review
A superb volume . . . The great merit of McKinstry's style is that he skilfully mixes the story of the machines with those of the men behind them... enthralling — Literary Review
As with his earlier books McKinstry interweaves the engineering lore and red-tape disputes behind the aircraft's manufacturing history with first-hand descriptions of its reliability and effectiveness. The tale he has to tell is a powerful one, like the Hurricane itself but once again he has proved himself an ace at the controls — Daily Express
'Superb' — Saul David, Daily Telegraph
'McKinstry is brilliant at bringing to life the tales of these machines for a new generation. His book is both worthy tribute and a genuinely page-turning read' — News of the World
Here the author does for the Hurricane what he has already done for the Spitfire, reminding us of the crucial role that the Hawker Hurricane played in the Battle of Britain...Leo McKinstry is particularly good on the 'bullish' character of Sidney Camm, the Hurricane's designer — Sunday Telegraph
McKinstry's case is persuasive — Daily Mail
'Those interested in the history of aviation, and the Second World War more generally, will be delighted with Leo McKinstry's latest book. This is a beautifully crafted and thoroughly researched study of the Hurricane's role . . . One particular strength of the book is that it sets the narrative of the Hurricane's development against the contextual backdrop of the era. Another is that it sheds a light on a cross section of people who were involved with its development and employment, not least its designer, Sit Sydney Camm...Hurricane is a compelling read, and has done precisely what it set out to achieve: to restore the Hurricane to its rightful place in the story of the Second World War' — BBC History