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Faces of the Few

...from Air World, part of Pen & Sword

Title: Faces of the Few
Author: Dilip Sarkar
Publisher: Air World Books
ISBN: 978-1-39906-536-8

The Battle for Survival in the Summer of 1940, a collection of photos illustrating a large number of the men who flew with fighter command during the Battle of Britain. A 210 page hard-cover book from Air World Books, an imprint of Pen & Sword.
A marvellous accompaniment to other books on the Battle of Britain by the author, this is a collection of pictures collected by him over a period of some 40 years apparently. Many came from the men themselves, when he met them, or their families for those who had passed away beforehand. There are a mix of pictures, some official portraits along with other more personal images. The bulk of them are portrait style photos, only a small number with aircraft clearly in the background. Among them are a number where the wartime picture is accompanied with a picture of some who survived the war, and who met the author in the following years. Each picture has a caption telling us who it is and their basic service story.
As explained at the beginning of the book, photos in 1940 were not as common as they are now thanks to digital photography and the existence of social media. Portraits taken in studios or by official photographers are the clearest images, others taken on privately owned cameras of the time are not always the best quality, but the capture of the faces of these men who took part in the Battle of Britain is a valuable record. Not just the aircraft this time, but the faces of the men behind this famous period in the history of WW2. A marvellous collection I think.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.


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