Battle of Britain

Acorn Video
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: E
Available 12 September 2005

In 1940, the German and British air forces fought for air superiority over England. This was to be the Battle of Britain...

Battle of Britain boasts that it uses unseen footage from the 1968 film, Battle of Britain to illustrate the many air battles. However, the "seen" material, that is to say the film itself, offers a better description of events than these bits and pieces that were left on the cutting room floor. One can only assume that rights issues and cost were the deciding factor here.

Whilst the visuals in this documentary may be a little lack lustre, the interviews with surviving pilots - from both sides - are nothing short of fascinating. No history text can ever replace a firsthand account, and it is this one aspect that rescues Battle of Britain from the mundane.

It is interesting to note that unlike the interviews from the excellent Band of Brothers, the pilots seem less emotional and affected by their combat experiences. In fact, this is a point that is addressed by one of the interviewees during the course of the documentary.

While lacking the impact of the stunning The World at War, Battle of Britain would be a welcome addition to any World War II documentary collection.

Jeff Watson

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