Last of the Few

The Battle of Britain in the words of the pilots who won it

(Adrian Pingstone)

Johannes Steinhoff: Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot


The English had ingeniously found a way to defend their island. Every pilot, except a small group of night flyers and bomber pilots who were the nucleus of the coming night bomber fleet, was retrained as a fighter pilot. It made no difference if he was a liaison plane pilot, a bomber or fighter-bomber pilot, he was retrained. Industry was instructed to concentrate on fighters. And in this way it was possible to seal the gap—and more! In one stroke, the lost air superiority was regained, and henceforth we did not own the airspace from Calais to London.

Pictured: 264th Squadron Defiants. The aircraft was vulnerable to the Messerschmitt Bf 109s.


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