Military Aviation in Ireland 1921-45

Overview

Military Aviation in Ireland 1921-45 charts the history of the Air Corps from its early days as the Military Air Service established by Michael Collins in 1922 to the ineffective air operations conducted during the Second World War period. The Air Service came into being when Michael Collins's great plans for a civil air service were postponed due to the outbreak of the Civil War of 1922-3. After participating in this war a small Air Corps was confirmed, but it proved to be little more than a token air element of...

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Overview

Military Aviation in Ireland 1921-45 charts the history of the Air Corps from its early days as the Military Air Service established by Michael Collins in 1922 to the ineffective air operations conducted during the Second World War period. The Air Service came into being when Michael Collins's great plans for a civil air service were postponed due to the outbreak of the Civil War of 1922-3. After participating in this war a small Air Corps was confirmed, but it proved to be little more than a token air element of a much more substantially infantry Army.

The author investigates how the Army Air Corps survived the 1920s and 1930s, despite great obstacles including the apparent absence of any government defence policy and an acute indifference to military aviation from the Army leadership. In the Second World War, two squadrons of the Air Corps were given air force tasks for which they lacked the aptitude and preparation in terms of personnel, airmanship, aircraft and training. How such glaring failures resulted in a direct demoralisation of the Corps is explored in depth. The story of how the Air Corps continued to carry out tasks on secretive government orders, despite Ireland's neutral stand, aimed at assisting the war efforts of the Royal Air Force is one of the most interesting aspects of this account.

Using extensive research from the Military Archives and National Archives, and a wide selection of log book material and personal files of a number of officers essential to piecing together details of the history, Michael C. O'Malley throws a revealing light on the people, events, action and inaction of Ireland's early aviation history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906359492
  • Publisher: University College Dublin Press
  • Publication date: 9/20/2010
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiv

Abbreviations xvi

1 Early Aviation in Ireland 1

2 Civil Aviation Developments in Saorst√°t √Čireann 10

3 Michael Collins, The Military Air Service and the Civil War 32

4 From Civil War to Army Mutiny 55

5 Organisation, Policy and Command, 1924-36 80

6 Pilot Intake, 1922-45 106

7 Aviation Policy and Planning, 1935-40 134

8 Support Services 161

9 The Air Corps' Emergency 189

10 Services Rendered 218

11 The Air Corps' Investigation of 1941-2 241

12 Re-Equipping, Reorganisation and Demobilisation 271

Appendices

I Summary of expenses: Captain C. F. Russell 288

II Telegram received in the Irish Office 290

III Statement of expenditure: Major General McSweeney 291

IV Department of Civil Aviation, 20 July 1922 292

V Department of Military Aviation, 22 July 1922 293

VI Aviation department of the Army, 18 October 1922 294

VII Colonel P.A. Mulcahy's pre-invasion address, 4July 1940 296

VIII Colonel P.A. Mulcahy Flying training 297

IX Damage to army aircraft from accidents during exercises 298

X Majority report on Colonel P.A. Mulcahy Air Corps' Investigation 302

XI Minority report on Colonel P.A. Mulcahy 303

Notes 304

Bibliography 334

Index 340

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