1st ed., 2003. Xiii + 434 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Cutting Tipped-in, Extra. In the summer of 1940 the defence of Britain rested in the hands of the pilots of Fighter Command. Despite the importance of this select band, remarkably little is understood about its real character. Drawing on contemporary diaries and letters, memoirs and interviews with many of the survivors, this book reaches beyond the myths. It anatomises the character and motivations of an elite whose members came from a variety of backgrounds, yet fused together to create a new ethos that combined traditional values with the technical ability demanded by aerial warfare. The result is a unique study of the spirit of these men, carried along on a surging narrative that conveys with unprecedented force a sense of what it was to be a fighter pilot in war and peace.