How the RAF & USAAF Beat the Luftwaffe written by Ken Delve and published by Greenhill Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 224

How did the RAF beat the Luftwaffe during the Second World War? Was it actually the fact that they did not lose which later enabled them to claim victory – a victory that would have been impossible without the participation of the Americans from early 1943?

This groundbreaking study looks at the main campaigns in which the RAF – and later the Allies – faced the Luftwaffe. Critically acclaimed writer Ken Delve argues that by the latter part of 1942 the Luftwaffe was no longer a decisive strategic or even tactical weapon.

The Luftwaffe was remarkably resilient, but it was on a continual slide to ultimate destruction. Its demise is deconstructed according to defective strategic planning from the inception of the Luftwaffe; its failure to provide decisive results over Britain in 1940 and over the Mediterranean and Desert in 1941–1942; and its failure to defend the Reich and the occupied countries against the RAF and, later, combined Allied bomber offensive.

This book looks into the reasons why the RAF & the USAAF beat the Luftwaffe from various means such as aircraft and weapons, organisational leadership, logistics, morale and tactics. The book looks at official materials alongside commentary from those involved and their opinions or thoughts. In a way an argument can be made very easily as to why the Luftwaffe was beaten. From the British use of a radar system, technically having better aircraft at the right time when they were needed, the sheer grittiness of the British spirit and of course when the US joined the war, the sheer weight of numbers would win out. I enjoyed this book as the arguments are put forward well and in a balanced. Would I recommend this book, yes I would. But I would say that it appeals more to those with an interest in military aviation or you are interested in books that put forward a number of text and arguments.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.