Royal Air Force Command: ‘Defence of the Realm’ 1936-1945

Author(s): Ron Mackay 

ISBN: 9781781557273
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Between the creation of Fighter Command in 1936 and the end of the Second World War, a dangerously outmoded RAF was transformed into a finely-honed organisation that helped destroy the Luftwaffe.
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  • Historically rich in detail with previously unpublished photographs from private archives

  • An exhaustive and detailed record of Fighter Command’s development from 1936 to 1945 as well as overseas operations

  • Researched and written by an aviation and military historian renowned author

  • A must-have for military and history enthusiasts, modellers and those interested in the complexities of aircraft design and production during the Second World War 

RAF Fighter Command’s brief was to provide an effective aerial barrier to any attempt at domination of British skies.

The aircraft and technical resources on hand between 1936 and the Second World War’s initiation were thankfully improved to a level that was barely sufficient to withstand the hitherto unchallengeable Luftwaffe’s advance across western Europe.

Between 1940 and 1942, Fighter Command generally found itself on the backfoot in terms of overall success. The introduction of aircraft designs that would change the situation, however costly, in its ultimate favour featured prominently from the midpoint of the war.

The Luftwaffe found itself being challenged and regularly bested around the clock and by the advent of D-Day, the Command’s efforts had materially contributed to the Allied surge that had placed its adversary on a permanent downward spiral towards extinction.

Profusely illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs, RAF Fighter Command: ‘Defence of the Realm’ 1936-1945 tells the complete story from near defeat to total and crushing victory.


BOOK ISBN 9781781557273
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING hardback
PAGES 256 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 25 July 2019
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 327 black-and-white and 33 colour photographs






Ron Mackay’s involvement with military aviation began during the Second World War. The local Coastal Command airfield at his birthplace of Wick, Scotland, provided a wealth of RAF and USAAF designs with which to stimulate his interest, which was subsequently sustained by National Service in the RAF. A working knowledge of German has expanded his field of study into the Luftwaffe. To date, he has published twenty-seven books covering the aforementioned Allied and Axis Air Forces, which include several co-authored examples.


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