Shrewsbury, 1st ed., 1996. Xii + 222 pp., various photo-plates. D.j., 22 x 15cm. FINE. This is the story of Headquarters Fighter Command and the man who created the unique air defence system used during the Battle of Britain. The entire network was welded together under the guidance of Air Chief Marshal Dowding at Bentley Priory. There is a detailed explanation of how the system functioned and what life was like for those working there. Civilian scientists became closely involved with the RAF as they struggled to perfect the new radio detection techniques and equipment that was at the leading edge of the era's technology. Much of what was learned at this time affected all future air warfare. Bentley Priory was the hub of the entire air defence system and worked at a level above the usual combat operations. It influenced many events relevant to the higher direction of the war. The surprising dismissal of Dowding after the successful outcome of the Battle of Britain is thoroughly investigated for justification ' the conclusions are rather unexpected.