Dilip Sarkar has been fascinated by the Second World War for a lifetime, his prolific work focused on the ‘human’ element of war. He is deeply moved by the stories of casualties – especially the ‘missing’ – and how these losses continue to affect families today.
For many years, Dilip enjoyed a uniquely close and privileged relationship with innumerable Battle of Britain pilots, and the relatives of casualties, enabling him to write prolifically, publishing original research, unique first-hand accounts and photographs. He has now written nearly fifty books, including the authorised biographies of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader and Air Vice-Marshal Johnnie Johnson, the official RAF top-scoring fighter pilot of the war, and is an internationally recognised expert. The strength of his work is context, having a broad and sound appreciation of the social, political and military history involved with the build-up to and during the Second World War.
Dilip’s boundless passion is sharing these stories with the wider world, to which end throughout the 1990s, he organised numerous high-profile book launches and symposiums, attended by a host of the Few and wartime personalities – providing the public an unprecedented opportunity to meet names from the pages of history. This visionary approach was recognised in 2003, when Dilip was made an MBE for ‘services to aviation history’. Elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006, Dilip has First Class Honours in Modern History from University Worcester, and is also a retired police officer whose work is renowned for being evidence-based – often challenging long-accepted myths.
Dilip writes for Pen & Sword, and is a dedicated supporter of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust; he has worked on numerous television documentaries on an international basis throughout his long career, on and off-camera, and continues to do so.
As Battle of Britain fighter ‘ace’ Wing Commander George Unwin DSO DFM famously said, ‘If you want to know anything about the Battle of Britain and the Few, don’t ask us, ask Dilip!’