A Bloody Summer: The Irish at the Battle of Britain


July 2020

Dan Harvey

July 2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the commencement of the Battle of Britain.

Sixth title in the hugely successful ‘Bloody Battles’ series.

Strategy analysis combined with the personal stories of those Irishmen involved in one of the greatest air battles in history.


Buy the eBook > ISBN: 9781785373251 Categories: ,


The Battle of Britain, regarded by historians as one of the greatest air battles in the history of warfare, was an early turning point in the Second World War. In the summer of 1940, the German army had, with astonishing speed, mercilessly swept aside all before them and were perched on the northern coastline of France. Outright victory over all of Europe was impeded only by the expanse of the English Channel. The supremely confident, yet-to-be defeated Luftwaffe (German Air Force) were eager for continued action, to claim air superiority and victory over an outnumbered RAF and clear the skies for the amphibious invasions of Britain and Ireland. It was vital that the RAF deny them, and so a ferocious and highly strategic aerial battle began that was to rage for more than three months.

Among those in the RAF’s Spitfire and Hurricane fighter squadrons were Irishmen, who were in the thick of the aerial exchanges, daring ‘dog-fights’, and intrepid interceptions of German bombers. A Bloody Summer: The Irish at the Battle of Britain for the first time tells the true and full story of their heretofore underestimated involvement in this epic aerial encounter.



Author’s Note



Air Superiority

Operational Pause

Summer Skies

Phase One – Conflict Commenced

Phase Two – State of Alert

Phase Three – A Decisive Victory Demanded

Phase Four – Full Fury: German Air Attacks on London

Phase Five – Fighter Fight

Telling the Battle of Britain Story





Appendix 1: Chronology of the Battle of Britain

Appendix 2: List of Accredited Battle of Britain Squadrons

Appendix 3: Location of RAF Fighter Command 31 July 1940

Appendix 4: R/T Codes



Lt Col. Dan Harvey is the author of A Bloody Week: The Irish at Arnhem; A Bloody Dawn: The Irish At D-Day; Soldiering against Subversion: The Irish Defence Forces and Internal Security During the Troubles, 1969–1998; Into Action: Irish Peacekeepers Under Fire, 1960–2014; A Bloody Day: The Irish at Waterloo; A Bloody Night: The Irish at Rorke’s Drift; and Soldiers of the Short Grass: A History of the Curragh Camp.

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