The Myth of the Blitz was nurtured at every level of society. It rested upon the assumed invincibility of an island race distinguished by good humour, understatement and the ability to pluck victory from the jaws of defeat by team work, improvisation and muddling through.
In fact, in many ways, the Blitz was not like that. Sixty-thousand people were conscientious objectors; a quarter of London's population fled to the country; Churchill and the royal family were booed while touring the aftermath of air-raids; Britain was not bombed into classless democracy.
Angus Calder provides a compelling examination of the events of 1940 and 1941 - when Britain 'stood alone' against the Luftwaffe - and of the Myth which sustained her 'finest hour'.