Sidney Bufton was a modest Welshman who joined the RAF in 1928. Serving in France as a Staff Officer though 1939/40, he was posted to a bomber squadron, won the DFC as a pilot, and went on to command a squadron himself. By 1941, at just 33, he became Deputy Director of Bomber Operations at the Air Ministry. By this time he had formed a clear idea of what would improve bombing operations and became responsible for conceiving and forming the Pathfinder Force in the face of bitter opposition from Bomber Harris, who treated him with great contempt.
Nonetheless Harris lost his battle and Bufton went on to be the joint chairman of the allied committee advising on targets—including the notorious Dresden raids, which policy of total devastation muddied Harriss name forever. Post-war, Bufton held a key role in the introduction and tactical use of nuclear weapons and ended his career Chief of Air Staff.
This gripping biography presents the career of an often overlooked but pivotal figure and presents a revealing insight into the decisions of war.