The author of Dowding of Fighter Command examines the relationships Churchill had with the airmen of the RAF.
Winston Churchill probably had more impact on 20th-century British military history than any other person, especially during World War II. Yet of the many volumes since that war that deal with his relationships with generals and admirals, most surprisingly, there seems not to be a single book devoted to Churchill as a would-be pilot, and, more importantly, to the relationships he had with a host of airmen between 1914 and 1945. Exceptional air marshals of his time included Dowding, Park, Portal, Freeman, Tedder, Coningham, and Harris. Such men had years of professional expertise behind them, and those who had reached the top by 1943 were such strong characters that not even the prime minister could dominate them in policy-making.
Crucially, Churchill had supported the independence of the RAF from other services, and while he did bully and cajole, even abuse his airmen, he also listened to them and their plans, and inspired them. With his expert eye, respected historian and professor Vincent Orange, has carefully studied and evaluated every detail of Churchill’s relationships with his closest officers to produce a masterful analysis of a neglected subject.