Title THE ROYAL AIR FORCE: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY.
Book Condition Near Fine
Jacket Condition Very Good+
Publisher London Brockhampton 1996
1860198511 / 9781860198519
Seller ID 23783
288 pp, large 8vo (9 7/8" H). Profusely illustrated with b&w photographs, maps. "Created in 1918 from the former Royal Flying Corps, the RAF forged its own traditions as it developed the tactics and weap- onry of aerial warfare. It ended the First World War with a strength of 300,000 personnel and 23,000 aircraft, but there was the immediate threat of stringent post-war defence budgets and an Army and Navy that demanded that air power be under their control. The Chief of Air Staff, Trenchard, needed a successful example of the potential of air power in order to guarantee future funding, and it came in the RAF air-policing role in the Near East. The RAF was perhaps the most neglected armed force during the 'appeasement years', despite vocal opposition and foreign militarization. After desperate rearm-ament in both aircraft and ground forces, the RAF stemmed the tide of German expansion in the Battle of Britain. The author devotes one third of the book to the superb record of the RAF throughout the Second World War, acknowledging the problems in command, strategy and aircraft equipment that appeared in all theatres during the fight against the Axis forces. Chapters cover the lean years from 1940 to 1942 with the RAF over-committed on all fronts, through the gradual build-up with improved aircraft and on to the heavy bombing campaign and the final, comprehensive air assault on Germany. The years 1944-1945 mark the high point of RAF history, but the factual framework continues with details of the appearance of jet aircraft, the deployments worldwide as the British Empire evolved into the Commonwealth and the RAF's changing tactical and strategic roles as Britain declined from 'superpower' status. This period also includes an appraisal of the V-bomber force, the slow decline in British research and development, the emergence of the RAF role in NATO and the balance of power during the Cold War. The history of the RAF is fully detailed up to the present as one receding threat causes significant change in the number and type of aircraft needed to face the perceived new problems posed by developing nations." Tiny scuff on bottom of rear board. Dust jacket has minor wear at top/bottom of spine and flap-folds, one tiny edge tear, very small dint on rear hinge, two tiny dints on rear panel, minor rubbing.