Osprey Aircraft of the Aces: 18; 128 pp., cold., plates + numerous b&w photo-ills. Soft c.c., 25 x 18cm. FINE. The Hawker Hurricane was the RAF's first monoplane fighter, and it dragged the air force into a position where it could defend Britain in its 'hour of need'. Prior to the Battle of Britain, a number of squadrons equipped with the fighter had seen action firstly in the 'Phoney War' and then during the disastrous campaign in France. Pilots like 'Cobber' Kain had achieved impressive scores in the face of overwhelming Luftwaffe forces and although the RAF lost 386 Hurricanes during the Blitzkrieg, it gave many pilots valuable experience. Hawker fighters outnumbered Spitfires during the Battle of Britain by three to one, and downed far more aircraft; whilst overseas, a handful of pilots put up stiff resistance against Germany's Italian ally in Libya and Egypt, and also over Malta.