This is perhaps the most impressive collection of pictures yet identified, as it shows my grandfather and his colleagues at work in Pinewood Studios' model shop, and also the finished models of various aircraft depicted in this film. Battle of Britain (Guy Hamilton, 1969) was an "all-star" film, including Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York, Michael Caine and Trevor Howard. The film makes extensive use of dogfight sequences, as the battle for air supremacy is fought in the skies over Britain in the summer of 1940. At this time, Hitler's armies were literally twenty-one miles from Dover. If the Luftwaffe had gained air supremacy, then nothing could have stopped a subsequent invasion of Britain. Those very few weeks were maybe THE most important, pivotal time in the entire Second World War.
Many of the photographs feature the Messerschmitt Bf 110. Their poor acceleration and wide turning circle made them no match for the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain. However, they were 40 mph faster than most Hurricanes, and if given the chance to dive from high level for a single attacking pass before breaking away, were very effective. Bf 110s were in service throughout the war, running through six production series, B to G. Later models were used as night-fighters, in an attempt to stem the increasing Allied bomber offensive over Germany.
In addition to building the model aircraft, my grandfather made the full-size cockpit mock-ups used in the live-action sequences of the film. Click on the photos to see larger versions.