Kevin Wilson's new book grippingly describes the 8th Division of the United States Army Air Force who arrived in Britain with bright and boundless optimism in the opening months of 1944 to put paid - finally - to Hitler's Nazi Germany. The operation culminated in Big Week, which began round-the-clock bombing of German aircraft production plants and much of the nation. During the 24-hour bombing of Berlin, the 8th Division carried out the day-raids. The stories of the American flyers in these campaigns and their interaction with the civilians who lived near the airbases make up the first section of the book: "Winter". The middle section is titled: Spring and describes the relationship between the British and the American soldiers in their midst. For the most part, the American airmen were popular, although there was friction from time to time - usually fuelled by imbibing too much alcohol. The story of the war continues, after the interruption of bad weather and the re-supply of aircraft, with the preparatory bombing campaigns for D-Day and then the aerial campaigns beyond it.This, then, is a book about the challenges faced by America pilots and their crews by the long flights required of them, sometimes in disabled aircraft. It is full of tales of heroism, some of them heart-breaking. The effect of the Americans upon their British allies is incalculable. The 8th was bombing in concert with 'Bomber' Harris's RAF crews, and the book doesn't flinch from recounting the devastation the blanket bombing caused, and the testimony of shocked civilians. This is a story that takes place mainly in the air, yet the impact of these bright young men extended far beyond the battlefield in the skies. When the time came for them to return to their homeland, they took with them 41,000 British women and the 14,000 children they had fathered.