Book Review: To Defeat the Few

dave

SMF Supporter
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
1,399
Points
113
Location
Brussels
First Name
Dave
When I posted this book back in the acquisitions thread, I promised to provide some feedback once I had read it, if this is in the wrong section please move it I was not sure where to put this .

1599143125056.png

To give the book its full title To Defeat the Few: The Luftwaffe’s campaign to destroy RAF Fighter Command, August–September 1940, its a nice big hardcover of just under 400 pages with plenty of illustrations and provide an enjoyable read.
The book actually begins before August 1940 and spends a little time going into the origins of the Luftwaffe and the campaigns in the Spanish Civil War, Poland and the France to set the scene. It also spends a little time on the organisation of the RAF particularly Command, Control and Detection.

Some of the material will be familiar to those who have read other books on the Battle of Britain, what sets this book apart is that it looks at the battle from the German side and tries to set out why they took the decisions they did, why certain targets were picked and the reasons for the changes in tactics. There are a few personal anecdotes from German aircrew but in general it is a narrative history.

An interesting point is the failure of Intelligence and planning by the Luftwaffe, the organisation of the German Armed Forces seconded the Luftwaffe to a supportive role to the army in offensive campaigns, the army set the strategy and assigned objectives all the Luftwaffe had to do was the tactical decisions of assigning units to targets, this meant for the Battle of Britain where the army was not involved they had no high level planning staff, likewise photoreconnaissance was subordinated to the army command not the Luftwaffe.

Overall, I would recommend the book as a useful addition to the library of anyone interested in the Battle of Britain and provides information that is often not considered in other books on the topic which focus on the British defence without asking why their opponents took the actions they did.
 

adt70hk

I know its a bit sad but I like quickbuild kits!!!
SMF Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,106
Points
113
First Name
Andrew
When I posted this book back in the acquisitions thread, I promised to provide some feedback once I had read it, if this is in the wrong section please move it I was not sure where to put this .

View attachment 397313

To give the book its full title To Defeat the Few: The Luftwaffe’s campaign to destroy RAF Fighter Command, August–September 1940, its a nice big hardcover of just under 400 pages with plenty of illustrations and provide an enjoyable read.
The book actually begins before August 1940 and spends a little time going into the origins of the Luftwaffe and the campaigns in the Spanish Civil War, Poland and the France to set the scene. It also spends a little time on the organisation of the RAF particularly Command, Control and Detection.

Some of the material will be familiar to those who have read other books on the Battle of Britain, what sets this book apart is that it looks at the battle from the German side and tries to set out why they took the decisions they did, why certain targets were picked and the reasons for the changes in tactics. There are a few personal anecdotes from German aircrew but in general it is a narrative history.

An interesting point is the failure of Intelligence and planning by the Luftwaffe, the organisation of the German Armed Forces seconded the Luftwaffe to a supportive role to the army in offensive campaigns, the army set the strategy and assigned objectives all the Luftwaffe had to do was the tactical decisions of assigning units to targets, this meant for the Battle of Britain where the army was not involved they had no high level planning staff, likewise photoreconnaissance was subordinated to the army command not the Luftwaffe.

Overall, I would recommend the book as a useful addition to the library of anyone interested in the Battle of Britain and provides information that is often not considered in other books on the topic which focus on the British defence without asking why their opponents took the actions they did.
Dave

Perfect timing. I was only thinking about this the other day but couldn't for the life of me remember what the book was called.

definitely sounds like it's worth getting so we'll have to add it to the 'to buy' list.

Thanks again.

All the best.

Andrew
 
Top