The early years of the war were particularly hard for Britain and her allies. The Blenheim fighters were in it from the start. If the aircrew did not know the inadequacies of their aircraft in the role, they quickly found out yet they continued to fly and fight with astounding courage. If anything, what the aircraft lacked in performance, the crews made up for with their skill and commitment.
Despite the high casualties of Blenheim fighter crews from the Phoney War and the retreat from France to Norway and the Battle of Britain, their actions have often been overshadowed by those of the Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons. The crews are certainly mentioned in accounts of each of these campaigns but few authors have sat down and pulled all of the threads together. That, happily, is no longer the case.
Andy Bird has excelled himself with Coastal Dawn. The same can be said for Grub Street who have produced a truly beautiful book and, having seen other recent releases from them, it is clear they have raised the bar in the hardback aircrew book stakes … but then, the Blenheim fighter crews deserve nothing less.
The book is available direct from Grub Street of course but also from large online booksellers like Booktopia.