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Osprey Elite Series No.104


Britain's Air Defences


Dr Alfred Price


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Elite Series No.104 - Britain's Air Defences by Dr Alfred Price
ISBN: 1-84176-710-7
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 64 pages.
Price: GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Logical and interesting text; good blend of technology, tactics and history; relevant wartime photos; helpful captions; great support from illustrations and maps
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green

Osprey's "Britain's Air Defences 1939-45" may be ordered  online from Squadron.com




As the title implies, "Britain's Air Defences 1939-45" describes the measures employed by Great Britain against the Luftwaffe in defence of her cities and industry during the Second World War.

Fighter defence is not covered in detail. Instead, the various technical innovations and tactics used in addition to conventional day fighters are described and discussed.

"Britain's Air Defences 1939-45" comprises 64 pages between soft covers. Dr. Price's text is logically laid out and easy to read. It chronologically documents the changing threats from 1940 until the closing months of the war. A series of "boxes", separate to the main text, tackle specific air defence innovations. This is a nice formatting feature which helps break down the many diverse elements of the overall subject into bite-sized chunks.

The text is generously supported by many black and white wartime photos, colour maps and various attractive illustrations. Captions for all of these photos and diagrams are relevant and helpful.

In summary, the book covers:

  • the initial preparation of Britain's air defences

  • defending the initial Luftwaffe air campaign during the Battle of Britain

  • developing new defences against night fighters, including searchlight control, two-seater fighters, AI and more effective aircraft-borne radars

  • innovations - some far-fetched - as alternatives to fighter defences

  • improvements in anti-aircraft guns and gunnery tactics

  • the introduction and defence against the V-1 Flying Bomb





"Britain's Air Defences 1939-45" provides plenty of interesting insights into the ever evolving and innovative tools and tactics employed in the ongoing battle against a persistent enemy. Considering how broad this subject is, Dr. Price does an excellent job of covering the main elements of this often overlooked piece of history.

The many illustrations, maps, wartime photos and  information "boxes" add to this informative and colourful package.

"Britain's Air Defences 1939-45" will be of interest to aircraft modellers, diorama builders and history buffs in general.


Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review copy

Britain's Air Defences 1939-45
(Osprey Elite 104)
Author: Dr Alfred Price
Illustrated by: Darko Pavlovic
US Price: $16.95
UK Price: £10.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: March 25, 2004
Details: 64 pages; ISBN: 1-84176-710-7
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Review Copyright © 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 21 April, 2004
Last updated 21 April, 2004

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