Blood, Sweat and Courage : 41 Squadron RAF 1939-1942

Blood Sweat and CourageBlood, Sweat and Courage :  41 Squadron RAF 1939-1942  by  Steve Brew
Published by :  Fonthill Media (  )
ISBN 978-1-78155-296-4
Published 14 December 2014
Pages 960 with over 400 B&W Illustrations
Hardcover with Dust Jacket
GBP£35.00 / USD$50.00 / AUD$75.00


41(R) Squadron is one of the oldest Royal Air Force squadrons still in existence; it will celebrate its Centenary in 2016. The unit has seen service from World War I, through Policing Duties in Aden in the 1930s, throughout World War II, and more recently in the First Gulf War and Yugoslavia. However, its History has barely been told.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND COURAGE, by author Steve Brew, is a comprehensive study of this gallant Squadron, which concentrates on its World War II activity between September 1939 and July 1942. The work complements its sister volume BLOOD, SWEAT AND VALOUR, which examines the Squadron between August 1942 and May 1945. Both works lend a strong emphasis to the men who earned the enviable reputation the Squadron still enjoys today.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND COURAGE recounts the unit’s role within battles, operations, offensives and larger strategies, detailing experiences made by the pilots and ground crew participating in them. It describes 41 Squadron’s courageous actions over Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain, its offensive operations over the Continent and the English Channel, its defensive activity against the Luftwaffe’s tip-and-run raids on the south coast, and its planned deployment to Russia.

The Squadron’s actions are often revealed for the first time, through primary source documents and previously unavailable records. The author has drawn heavily on unpublished primary sources, including a large number of logbooks, interviews and personal accounts. 41 Squadron’s own archive was made exclusively available to him for the purpose of writing this work.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND COURAGE evokes the feeling of the period, portraying not only a factual account but also one that captures the colour of life on a Second World War fighter squadron, with a balance between material of a documentary nature and narrative action, intertwining fact with personal recollections of events, serious events with humour, and sobering statistics with poignant after-thought. It is borne of deep and emotive sentiment, expressed by the pilots and their families, which is also embedded in the culture of today’s 41 Squadron, to remember every man and to give him his rightful place in history.

Link to Book Website and further information

The book was launched at the RAF Club in London in December 2014, but is available for advance purchase from the publisher (,Blood, Sweat and Courage:: 41 Squadron RAF, September 1939-July 1942: A Biographical History
, and elsewhere on the internet.

About the Author

STEVE BREW is the historian for 41 Squadron RAF. He has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and speaks in addition to his English mother-tongue fluent High German and Swiss German. Over many years, Brew developed a passion for 41 Squadron RAF with which unit his great uncle served during the Second World War. This has grown into a strong affiliation with the Squadron, its past pilots and ground crew, and their families. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed companion volume Blood, Sweat and Valour: 41 Squadron RAF 1942-1945.

Steve Brew is a regular contributors on the RAF Commands Board.  His thread for this book is linked here