In the March 1989 "Aeroplane Monthly", Roland Beamont wrote a stinging condemnation of the way that RAF Fighter Command was portrayed in the TV mini-series. A few of his comments are worth repeating:
"There was no sense of defeatism at any time in any of the squadrons that I saw in action, and a total absence of the loutishness portrayed in 'Piece of Cake'. It would not have been tolerated for a moment... ...The prevailing atmosphere was more akin to that in a good rugby club, though with more discipline. Nor was there any sense of 'death or glory'. RAF training had insisted that we were there to defend this country, and now we were required to do it - no more and no less.
"There was no discussion of 'bravery' or 'cowardice'. People either had guts or they did not - but mostly they did. But we knew fear, recognised it in ourselves and in each other, did our damnedness to control it, and then got on with the job...
"...I could feel no 'glory', but there was a sense of greatness, and none of this bore the slightest resemblance to 'Piece of Cake'."
Beamont was, in his own words, "a fighter pilot who, unlike the author and producer of the recent TV series, was there at the time".
Beamont served with 87 Squadron both in France and the BoB, before going on to become one of the premier exponents of both the Typhoon and Tempest, and a post-war test pilot.
"Piece of Cake" is an absolute, total misrepresentation of the way pilots in Fighter Command acted at the time. It is nothing less than a complete and utter disgrace...