The Fairey Battle was a light bomber used by the RAF during the events depicted in Piece of Cake. Forever rembered as a combat aeroplane which seemed marvellous when it appeared and yet which, within four years, was being hacked out of the sky in droves.


Designed to Specification P.27/32 as a replacement for the biplane Hawker Hart and Hawker Hind, this clean cantilever stressed skin monoplane epitomised modern design, and carried twice the bomb load, for twice the distance, at 50 percent higher speed. It was the first aircraft to go into production with the new Merlin engine, taking it's mark number from that of the engine. Ordered in previously unheard of quantities,[N 1] production built up faster than for any other new British aircraft. 15 bomber squadrons were equipped between May 1937 and May 1938.[2]

Piece of CakeEdit

The NovelEdit

Before Hornet Squadron left for France, they shared their airfield with a Battle squadron. Squadron Leader Ramsey asked 'Uncle' Kellaway to organise a rugby match between the two squadrons[4] which, due to Ramsey's death, never took place.[5]

Hornet Squadron acted as escort for a combined force of Battles and Bristol Blenheims sent to destroy a number of bridges during the German assault in May 1940

The MiniseriesEdit

The Battle sub plot was not featured in the Miniseries.[N 2]



  1. 155, then 500, and then 863 from a new Austin 'Shadow Factory'.
  2. This was presumably due to a lack of available airframes.


  2. 2.0 2.1 Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II.
  4. Piece of Cake (novel) page 49
  5. Piece of Cake (novel) page 55.