The Few: The American

The Few: The American ""Knights of the Air"" Who Risked Everything to Save Britain in the Summer of 1940

by Alex Kershaw

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Overview

The Few: The American ""Knights of the Air"" Who Risked Everything to Save Britain in the Summer of 1940 by Alex Kershaw


The Few tells the dramatic and unforgettable story of eight young Americans who joined Britain's Royal Air Force, defying their country's neutrality laws and risking their U.S. citizenship to fight side-by-side with England's finest pilots in the summer of 1940-over a year before America entered the war. Flying the lethal and elegant Spitfire, they became "knights of the air" and with minimal training but plenty of guts, they dueled the skilled and fearsome pilots of Germany's Luftwaffe. By October 1940, 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 human conflict 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306815720
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 08/07/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 500,490
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, and The Few, and two biographies: Jack London and Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     xi
The Fall of France
Soldiers of Fortune     3
The Ace of Spades     21
Prelude     27
Duel of Eagles
Per Ardua ad Astra     51
The Burning Blue     69
First Blood     81
The Channel     91
Tally-Ho!     111
That England Might Live     121
The Narrowest Margin
Huns in the Sun     139
Achtung! Spitfeuer!     149
The Blitz     165
Their Finest Hour     173
Last Flights
Horrido!     193
The Eagles     203
Dawn Patrol     223
Epilogue-They Shall Not Grow Old     235
The "Few"     239
Battle of Britain     241
Notes     245
Bibliography     279
Reader's Guide     289
Index     293

Customer Reviews

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Few: The American Knights of the Air Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 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 More than 1 year ago
Classic Kershaw, well written and researched. Loved it. Would like more after war details of pilots in future additions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GOOD STORY GOOD READING
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