RAF On the Offensive: The Rebirth of Tactical Air Power 1940-1941

RAF On the Offensive: The Rebirth of Tactical Air Power 1940-1941

by Greg Baughen

Hardcover

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Overview

Long before the start of the Second World War it had been believed that strategic bombing would be the deciding factor in any future conflict. Then Hitler launched the Blitzkrieg upon France and the Low Countries in 1940, and the much-vaunted French Army and the British Expeditionary Force were swept away in just six weeks.This new form of warfare shook the Air Ministry, but the expected invasion never came and the Battle of Britain was fought in the air. It seemed that air forces operating independently could determine the course of the war. An Army scarcely seemed necessary for the defence of the UK and no British army could ever be powerful enough to mount an invasion of Europe on its own. Bombing Germany into defeat seemed Britain's only option. In North Africa, however, Commonwealth armies and air forces were demonstrating that they too could use blitzkrieg tactics to crush opponents. Britain was also no longer alone; Greece and then the Soviet Union joined the fight.RAF on the Offensive describes how British air power developed after the Battle of Britain. Attitudes were beginning to change – the fighter, rather than the bomber, was re-emerging as the principal means of gaining air superiority. As 1941 drew to a close, the strategic air offensive appeared to be achieving little and conventional land warfare seemed poised to replace it as the way to defeat the enemy. Which direction, then, would the war take?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526735157
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 12/21/2018
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Greg Baughen was educated at Sussex University where he obtained a degree in Mathematics. In a varied teaching career, he has taught Maths and English as a Foreign Language, to children and adults, in Britain and abroad. His interest in military aviation was sparked at a very early age by curiosity over the defeat of British and French air forces in the Battle of France in 1940. For forty years, he has delved though public archives in Britain and France seeking explanations. The quest has taken him back to the origins of air power in both countries and forwards to what might have been in the Cold War. He then set to work writing a definitive history of air power in both countries.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 Fighters for the Future 1

Chapter 2 The Bomber Route to Victory 29

Chapter 3 The Air Ministry Digs In 40

Chapter 4 Greek Discontent 66

Chapter 5 Desert Blitzkrieg 85

Chapter 6 Preparing for Invasion 100

Chapter 7 Discord in the Ranks 119

Chapter 8 The War Office Strikes Back 148

Chapter 9 Disunited 170

Chapter 10 A New Ally - New Approach 184

Chapter 11 Butt Bombshell 208

Chapter 12 Air Strategy at the Crossroads 225

Conclusion 262

Notes 266

Appendices

Appendix I UK production and imports 1940 287

Appendix II UK production and imports 1941 288

Appendix 111 Aircraft arriving in Middle East by all routes 1941 290

Appendix IV Aircraft Performance 291

Bibliography 296

Index 298

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