Essay title: The Few by Alex Kershaw Book Report
In the summer of 1940, World War II had been in progress for nearly a year.Adolf Hitler was victorious and planning an invasion of England to seal Europeâ€™s fate.Everyone in the United States of America knew it.The Germans were too powerful.
Hitler's Luftwaffe had too many planes, too many pilots and too many bombs and since Hitler was Europe's problem, the United States claimed to be a neutral country (Neutrality Act of 1939).Seven Americans, however, did not remain neutral and thatâ€™s what this book is about.They joined Britain's Royal Air Force to help save Britain in its darkest hour to fight off the skilled pilots of Germany's Luftwaffe in the blue skies over England, the English Channel, and North Europe.By October 1940, they had helped England succeed in one of the greatest air battles in the history of aviation, the Battle of Britain.This book helps to show the impact of the few Americans who joined the Battle of Britain to fight off an evil that the United States didnâ€™t acknowledge at the time.The name of Kershawâ€™s book was inspired from the quote, â€œNever in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to sow few,â€ which was said by British Officer and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Alex Kershawâ€™s â€œThe Few The American â€?Knights Of The Airâ€™ Who Risked Everything To Fight In The Battle Of Britainâ€ doesnâ€™t just tell the story of the seven American aviators who flew for the British as but also their enemies, the Luftwaffeâ€™s point of view.This book is told through this group of Americans and from the viewpoint of the Royal Air Force pilots they fought with but also the perspective of the Luftwaffe fliers that they fought against during the battle.For example, in one part of the book, there was this one German lookout who had commented on how much of an advantage the British had because of their radars that could locate enemy planes while they crossed the English Channel; the lookout considered the radar an â€œunfairâ€ tool.The Few was mainly written to shows why people all over the world should feel grateful towards the men of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain.By the time in the summer of 1940, Adolf Hitler had already overtaken most of Europe and was attempting to conquer Great Britain which led into the battle of Britain.
Britainâ€™s Royal Air Force was the inferior force that failed Germanyâ€™s Luftwaffe.This was an incredible feat because Britainâ€™s Royal Air Force was composed of a little over a thousand pilots from various countries.Most of these men had minimal training and were usually only given about two weeks of training before they were in dogfights.Their equipment was sparse in comparison to the Luftwaffe and yet they were able to cripple the Germans. Even though the Royal Air Force fliers were vastly outnumbered, their effort changed the tide of the battle.
Thus, Kershaw has strongly supported his thesis.Many of these volunteered aviators had given up their citizenship to fight in the Battle of Britain.With the life expectancy of a quick two weeks, this was practically suicide!The ironic part was that a lot of these fighters at first just saw it as an opportunity to fly a Spitfire or just to finally get some action out of flying but after being aware that the kill/loss ratio was decreasing in kills and increasing in losses, these young men became serious of what they had to get done.The sweat and tears put into the battle by these young, brave aviators was just unprecedented.
â€œThe Fewâ€ contains four of the six Advanced Placement (AP) themes that are essential to World History.The included themes are:patterns and effects of interaction among societies and regions,.