Aug 5, 2012

How 'Bout Them Reads: The Few

The proper name for this book is actually The Few: The American "Knights of the Air' Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain. But you can see why it is shortened for the title. That title pretty much tells you everything, right? I'm guessing you can now telling it is a history non-fiction book, and that it is about pilots. Double points for those of you who knew the Battle of Britain was during WWII. I thought it was about time I read a history book again. It had been awhile. I don't know why I hadn't been reading them. I just hadn't. But I decided it was time to do a little educating and learn something new other than some romance story in a Nora Roberts book.

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The hubs asked an interesting question when he saw the title of this book: Did they all risk it all? Well, yes, for those men who climbed into the cockpits of planes and were involved in the air battles during World War II, it was do or die. It's not really like these days and now war is now. This was a different time. War was fought in the skies. These pilots were involved in dogfights almost daily. They were shot down by anti-aircraft weapons. They risked their lives for bombing missions day and night. It was a different time. So yes, any pilot that got into a plane during WWII risked everything.

But for these Americans, the story is a step further. What you might not know is that in 1939 a neutrality law was passed that made it illegal for an American citizen to join a military of any country that was at war. It was our attempts to keep ourselves completely out of the war. We were isolationists and didn't want to get involved in another war. And we wanted to keep ourselves completely out of it - basically America was living in denial. Hitler wasn't going to just take over Europe and be done, but Americans wasn't ready to jump into another war and fight on foreign soil again.

But there were a "few" who went over, risking everything - their lives and their citizenship - and helped keep the Germans at bay. They helped a nation that was not theirs, and many lost their lives for it.

This was a very interesting book over all. The book was centered mostly around the Battle of Britain but also stuck with the stories of those who survived the Battle of Britain and what ultimately happened to those pilots. It was a quick read, especially for a history book which just tend to be slower reads to start with. The story was interesting. It's nice to pick up a book and learn something new from it.

35/52


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