Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain – and remembering the particular tale of Karel Kuttelwascher

Today is the 75th anniversary of the commencement of the Battle of Britain. It is estimated that between 10 July and the end of October 1940, the RAF lost around 1,023 aircraft whilst the Luftwaffe lost 1,887. The ultimate failure of the Luftwaffe was one of the turning points of the Second World War and prevented Germany from invading Britain.

Around 3,000 RAF pilots took part in the Battle – mostly in Hurricanes and Spitfires – and 544 of them were killed. Another 814 of them would be killed before the end of the war. Today we remember their bravery and sacrifice.

One of the RAF’s Hurricane pilots in the Battle was Vee’s father, the then 24 year old Czech Karel Kuttelwascher, known to his comrades as ‘Kut’. His part in this particular conflict was tiny but, later in the war, he shot down 18 German aircraft and won the Distinguished Flying Cross twice. You can read his story here.

Some 30 years ago, I wrote a biography about Kut entitled “Night Hawk”. Amazingly a publisher has recently been in touch with me with view to re-publishing the book, possibly in a new edition.


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