1st ed., 1990. 272 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 15cm. FINE. In this compelling account of the origins and development of the RAF from its formation as the Army's Royal Flying Corps, through its evolution to a permanent and independent Service, the author presents a wealth of new evidence about the RAF's organisation, strategy and preparedness for the Battle of Britain. Here, for the first time, drawing on the hard but usually overlooked facts and figures of the official Air Force Lists and Estimates, the author is able to dispel many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the history of the RAF in the pre-war years. He also traces the careers and influence of the fledgling Service's founding fathers ; assesses the major social innovations in recruitment and training; and, above all, reveals the degree of precision planning by the Air Staff chiefs which has hitherto gone largely unrecognised. In 1940 the Battle of Britain stopped the Germans for the first time in eight years of unchecked advance. The beginnings of British Air Power, and the events prior to those crucial weeks, are detailed here.