In the summer of 1944, in the skies over Southern England, a new era in international warfare began. A German reprisal weapon, called the V1 or "flying bomb", launched from occupied France, would bring indiscriminate terror and panic to the civilian population of London and the home counties. The German High Command hoped the weapon would not only revenge the Allied bombing of their homeland, but seriously hinder Allied invasion plans. The Allies tried desperately to prevent this new scourge diverting their attention from D-Day and the liberation of Western Europe. It was the job of the RAF's Bomber Command to combat the new threat and in June the Deputy Supreme Commander, Sir Arthur Tedder, wrote "from 23 June the offensive went forward with full vigour. Though I advised that air action could reduce, but not exterminate the menace", since bombing the sites was "using a sledgehammer for a tintack". This book gives an account of how this massive strategic bombing force was used to counter the flying bomb threat and how the airmen from the Commander-in-Chief right down to the aircrews and groundcrews acted upon the decisions made.
Decisions which would lead to many Allied airmen suffering serious injury, many losing their lives or being captured by the enemy. Decisions which were made in the belief that they would give some relief to the population of Southern England, the main victims of the flying bomb menace. The story is told using photgraphic coverage, previously unpublished records, intelligence information and graphic first-had accounts provided by Bommber Command veterans, Luftwaffe night fighter veterans and accounts from French people who witnessed the whole German operation from the construction of the secret weapon installations to the launching of the flying bombs. The book details all raids against flying bomb targets and also covers raids against other German secret weapon targets. Interspersed between operations are the experiences of the airmen involved in operations. It also focuses in detail on three particular nights when there were considerable air battles between Bomber Command and German night fighters.