“Though many brave unwritten tales were simply told in vapour trails”*
Let’s take a moment to remember that the Battle of Britain began on July 10, 1940 as Nazi forces attacked shipping convoys in the English Channel. It was the first major assault by the Luftwaffe. Although heavily outnumbered, the British fighter pilots put up a fierce fight and succeeded in driving off the attackers.
I might have to dust off my copy of The Battle of Britain (1969), an “historical reenactment of the air war in the early days of World War Two for control of the skies over Britain as the new Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force determine whether or not an invasion can take place.”
Directed by Guy Hamilton, there is a lot of aerial action by Spitfires and it boasts a who’s who of British actors, including Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Ian McShane, Laurence Olivier, Michael Redgrave, Kenneth More, Ralph Richardson, and on and on.
If I had not just recently seen Spitfire–The First of Few (1942) starring Leslie Howard and David Niven, I would certainly watch it.
Leslie Howard is great as aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell and, as usual, he is doing his best to support the war effort in the best way he can.
It goes without saying that I will toast those few brave flyers who fought so valiantly to save so many. Will you join me?
* Lines from “Our Wall” by Flight Lieutenant William Walker, 616 Squadron, inscribed on a plaque next to the memorial wall in Kent.