The title of this book isn't entirely accurate. It does begin with the pre-war period, but ends right in the middle of the Battle of Britain, with the German switch from attacks on RAF airfields to the attack on London. In between it covers the phoney war, battle of France and the early attacks on Channel convoys, generally accepted as having taken part before the main battle.
This particular entry in the Images of War series has about a 50-50 balance between text and pictures. The text covers some unusual areas, with extracts of contemporary poetry to give a flavour of the period, and some very good material on the high level of stress suffered by the pilots and the ground staff at those RAF bases that came under the heaviest Luftwaffe attack.
The pictures also include some less familiar selections, including two double page spreads of sketches of RAF pilots by the War Artist Cuthbert Orde, and similar pages of photographs of RAF and Luftwaffe pilots and senior officers. There are also all of the normal pictures of aircraft in flight, on the ground and in pieces, ground crews air fields, aircraft factories and so forth.
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with this book - the text is much more interesting than is often the case in photographic books, and is supported by a good selection of images.
1 - The Unease
2 - A State of War
3 - The Few
4 - Channel Convoy Attacks
5 - Hitting the Radar Chain
6 - The Hunt Moves to England
7 - Scramble
Author: Philip Kaplan
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation