|Digital List Price:||$24.99|
|Print List Price:||$24.95|
Save $10.50 (42%)
Last of the Few: The Battle of Britain in the Words of the Pilots Who Won It Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Abridged, Audiobook, International Edition
|Length: 305 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $7.49 when you buy the Kindle book.
Try Kindle Countdown Deals
Explore limited-time discounted eBooks. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
===The Good Points===
* The stories are short-usually less that a page or two each, and move along quickly. They might capture a single day, a few hours, or even a brief incident. Rarely to they cover several days or more lengthy experiences.
* There is a nice variety. The experience of Polish pilots attached to the RAF are interesting, especially their difficulty in being mistaken for Germans when "rescued" by British farmers armed with pitchforks.
* The stories vary in the level of intimacy shared. Some pilots confess to being terrified or stressed by the constant danger, while others maintain a calm demeanor, at least outwardly. The net result is the reader gets a balanced understanding of the personality types involved, and the various means by which people in grave danger learned to cope with it.
* Some of the stories are just plain funny. The German pilot that was shot down over England figured it was as good a time as any to stop off in a pub and have a beer. Only later did his fellow pub patrons, and RAF officers, recognize his uniform. They all finished their beers and off he went to a POW camp.
* A few of the tales will stand the hair up on the back of your neck. Imagine being an RAF pilot, wiggling your wings to help shake off the shot down pilot whose parachute was tangled in your wings. Imaging being the guy in the parachute!
===The Not-So-Good Points===
* Some of the stories are better written and more interesting than others. I almost stopped reading the book during the first chapters because all the stories were very similar, rather boring, and somewhat inane. There must have been ten stories in a row where "I joined a local flying club, learned to fly, volunteered for the RAF, then got sent to a barracks somewhere to do nothing".
* Very little context of the stories is provided, so unless you understand what the Battle of Britain was really about- namely England's survival in the face of a possible German invasion- I am not sure you would appreciate the true stakes of the battles. And while it sort of comes across in the narratives, the reader doesn't really get a good appreciation from this book of just how thinly the RAF was stretched. You do get a feel for it with stories of pilots being called out of hospital beds to fly a quick mission.
* There is very little technical details, even though many of the stories take place in an airplane cockpit. How did a British Hurricane compare to a German ME109? What advantages did British radar really give?
=== Summary ===
I almost stopped reading the book very early in the text because the first few stories are just not as good as most of the later ones. There were a few which could have been skipped, or replaced with other content, but on average most were very engaging and interesting. The sheer terror these pilots were exposed to comes out, although it is in many ways understated. You can really appreciate what these men's lives were like as they engage in a casual mess-hall conversation about whether it is worse to be burned to death or chopped to bits in a mid-air collision.
The book is a fairly quick read, and not very long. You won't learn anything new about WWII, or even the Battle of Britain, but you will get a new understanding of the life of a fighter pilot in the RAF. I'd recommend it.
I have purchased both the Kindle version for myself and the hardback version for my Dad who was an American flying for the RCAF. He met a number of the pilots mentioned in the book and reading it has brought back rememberances of those meetings. He is enjoying reading the book aloud to my mother.