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Battle of Britain RAF Operations Manual by Andy Saunders, Haynes, 164pp, illus, hbk, £22.99

Providing in-depth insight into how technology and defence infrastructure helped the RAF win the Battle of Britain in 1940, historian and writer Andy Saunders describes the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how Britain held off the Luftwaffe in that crucial summer. The victory was not only down to the undoubted bravery and skill of the pilots, but also thanks to the highly effective support network that lay behind the deployment of the RAF’s squadrons. Scientific, technical and organisational systems established in Britain before the war ensured that the nation was ready and able to defend itself against any would-be conqueror. Andy explores the RAF’s organisation, from high command to squadron level, through to the integrated air defence network including radar, fighter control, balloons, the Observer Corps and plotting rooms. He also examines the technology behind systems such as radar and radio telephony, as well as the aircraft of both sides, their weapons and tactics

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