Faces of the Few
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Faces of the Few
The Battle for Survival in the Summer of 1940
Dimensions:6.8" x 9.7"
Photos:Approximately 250 mono illustrations
Item No. 9781399065368
There remains an enduring fascination with the Battle of Britain, and the RAF aircrew who fought and won this unprecedented aerial conflict, immortalized by Churchill in August 1940 as ‘The Few’.Unlike today, when photography is a huge part of people’s daily lives, not least because of mobile phone cameras and the sharing of images via social media, back then photography involved comparatively primitive and expensive items of equipment and was not, therefore, as accessible as it is today. Furthermore, unofficial photography on service installations in Britain was strictly prohibited for security reasons, and consequently such photographs, often taken surreptitiously, are comparatively rare (although, interestingly, amateur photography was much more popular in Germany, and German servicemen took countless photographs, especially during the Blitzkrieg years).The author’s personal relationships and friendships with many of The Few, however, enabled him to unlock their personal archives, photograph albums and personal snapshots. The result of this research represents a substantial and unique archive. These photographs are not, in the main, posed official pictures, but those snapped by air and groundcrews who were keen amateur photographers, their images often shared around their squadron mates.The photographs presented here, some for the first time, provide the reader with a fascinating window on the past, through which we get an authentic glimpse of the summer of 1940 and The Few themselves. Indeed, in some cases, these are the only known images of certain individuals, while the likeness of others has been lost to history. That fact, therefore, emphasizes the importance of this photographic record.