The Few: The American

The Few: The American "Knights of the Air" Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain

4.7 36
by Alex Kershaw, Scott Brick
     
 

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It was the Summer of 1940-over a year before America would enter the war-and Britain stood alone in its darkest hour against Hitler and the Nazi advance. Eight young Americans defied their country's neutrality laws and crossed the Atlantic to join Britain's Royal Air Force, hoping that they might somehow help turn the German tide. They risked their U.S. citizenship

Overview

It was the Summer of 1940-over a year before America would enter the war-and Britain stood alone in its darkest hour against Hitler and the Nazi advance. Eight young Americans defied their country's neutrality laws and crossed the Atlantic to join Britain's Royal Air Force, hoping that they might somehow help turn the German tide. They risked their U.S. citizenship fighting side-by-side with England's finest pilots. Flying the lethal and elegant Spitfire, they became "knights of the air," and with minimal training, facing incredible odds, they dueled the most skilled and fearsome pilots of Germany's Luftwaffe.

By the end of October, they had helped England win the greatest air battle in the history of aviation. Winston Churchill once said of all those who fought in the Battle of Britain, "Never in the field of combat was so much owed by so many to so few." These daring Americans were the few among the "few." Now, with the narrative drive and human drama that made The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter national bestsellers, Alex Kershaw tells their story for the first time.

Editorial Reviews

We can now think of them as premature war heroes, but at the time, the American pilots who flew for the Royal Air Force before Pearl Harbor were ignored, dismissed as thrill-seeking Yankees, or castigated as a national nuisance. American ambassador Joseph Kennedy, viewing these mavericks as a threat to U.S. neutrality, tried to get them deported. But these "Knights of the Air" persisted, shooting down several fearsome German aces, and became national heroes in Great Britain. A rousing story for war buffs, well told by Alex Kershaw.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455853939
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed books The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter and two biographies: Jack London and, more recently, Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He has been a journalist and a screenwriter in Britain and now lives in Bennington, Vermont.

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Few: The American Knights of the Air Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As he did with The Longest Winter, Mr. Kershaw keeps alive the stories of the heroes of WW2.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a fun, fast read and really brought the Battle of Britain to life through eyes of American pilots but also the German flyers. These Americans gave up everything to save the free world and the story is well told and inspiring. Recommended highly for anyone interested in history and flying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
During the Viet Nam war when Canadians were welcoming American draft dodgers and deserters, I wrote that there was another time when young American men broke American law and were welcomed by the Canadians. Only then it was Americans going to Canada to join the RCAF or a few who continued to England to join the RAF and fight the Battle of Britain. This is the story of that few . . . and what a story it is. Alex Kershaw brings it to life with an up close and personal view of their lives as well as the lives of the other young pilots in Spitfires and Hurricanes plus the German view of the battle from Me-109s and 110s. Excellent and detailed descriptions of dogfights seem like fiction until you check the footnotes and find that they are taken from many actual individual combat reports. An excellent book and well worth the read! Alex Kershaw also wrote The Bedford Boys.
DougNV More than 1 year ago
Shortly after reading the book, I watched the movie "Pearl Harbor" in which the lead character found himself being "ordered" to the Eagle Squadron by reporting immediately to London for duty. This, before the Pearl Harbor bombing. That's why "the book" is always better than "the movie"!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Exceptional reading, realism and factual drama of both the allies and the German airmen. The visuals are awesome and emotions intense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of young Americans, pilots without military flying experience, who defying US Law, found a way to fly with the RAF, defending Britain from the Luftwaffe in the most critical period of the war. Told as though you are there with them, seeing what they saw, living and dying with them. A great read - even if it did happen before I was born.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than the movie Memphis Belle. Story is about Battle of Britian world war two, spitfire fighter planes piloted by USA men, British men outmanuvering German planes. Exciting, amazing book. Highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about history, WW2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me feel like I could accomplish anything in life if I gave 100% effort! Motivating WW2 tale, very good! Intense battle scene(s), anyone interested in WW2 should buy and read Alex Kershaw's book The Envoy, very succinct and entertaining, learned a lot! VERY WELL DONE!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five star book! Best WW2 book ever written, in my opinion! Anyone seeking a great motivational tale and/or lessons that can improve your daily life, I recommend reading Alex Kershaw! This WW2 book is about the battle of Britian (the Nazis attempt to destory england before they stopped and focues their effors more so on Russis). Aviation plane called the Spitfire, small lethal and/or efficient destoryed the big, bad well equiped overconfident Nazi planes, prolonging Nazis efforts to conquer England, before they focues more on Russia, thus changing all of world history! The Nazis would have been able to conquer England had it not been for a plane called the Spitfire and/or fearless pilot(s) of the planes, small, fast, efficient, they destoryed Nazi planes, prolonged the efforts of their retreat and getting ready for war with Germany!, Germans, fought long and/or hard against Britian during battle of Britian but their efforts were delayed by British planes called Spitfires (some piloted by USA men), before USA entered WW2. SUPERERBLY wriitten, so many facts about WW2, world history laid out in a clear, fun, easy to understand format! This writer is definetly talented, AWESOME AWESOME BOOK! VERY MUCH SOMETHING I RECOMMEND TO ANY READER!!
briannnnn More than 1 year ago
Must have for aviation lovers, very good book of WWII fighter pilots battling it out.
Jennifermiller More than 1 year ago
Another classic tale by Alex Kershaw. Alex Kershaw is the best history writer on Earth today, this true life story is spun into a fascinating tale of Battle of Britian 1940 between German fighter pilots vs English fighter pilots (some of them USA men), very good tale. Awesome writing.
Christianbelle More than 1 year ago
Aerial battles between Nazis planes (figher pilots) vs. England's small but very efficient Spitfire figher planes during WWII (battle of Britian)! I felt like I was in a movie, a character alongside the real life participants, this author made me feel like these events were taking place in a real life setting! Incredibly well wirtten, insightful, GREAT BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best aviation book ever written. WW two story of Battle of Britian air battles, very fun book to read! Brave fighters in Spitfire(s) planes battling the Nazis, some of the American men in Britian (USA had not yet entered war, 1940). Very good book. Five star.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fearless story of WW2 fight pilots in Spitfire planes fighting Nazi planes' during Battle of Britian WW2. It it like you are a character in the story, there yourself. This author is very very good at telling the story, highly recommmened.
EddieGreen More than 1 year ago
Great WWII story that needed to be told, very good. Yeah, I would say it is a five-star book.
Danaapple More than 1 year ago
Truly fascinating aerial fighting battle between Germans and British Spitfire planes. Just read on MSNBC about Spitfire planes found in Asia that were hid form Japanese, reminded me of this great book. It was a awesome, get in the cockpit of WWII battles in the air, that is what this book fealt like.
PIUSLEE More than 1 year ago
Tip-top aviation battle book. Far superior to anything ever written on the topic of warfare, fighter pilots, aerial battling. Alex Kershaw is a gifted writer, historian. Perfection in his research, writing style, presentation of facts of WWII aerial battling during battle of Britian. Very uplifting tale. Top-notch nonfiction book.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Classic Kershaw, well written and researched. Loved it. Would like more after war details of pilots in future additions.
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BD0 More than 1 year ago
Most exciting battle book ever written. Alex Kershaw is very talented in painting the picture, brutalities of warfare. Battle of Britian aerial battles between England and Germany, very good book.
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