"The History of the RAF" (used book)

"The History of the RAF" (used book)

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The History of the RAF

by Christopher Chant


About the Book

Used Book. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Good Condition. Special Revised Edition

-- From the dust jacket

In 1939, the RAF entered World War II in the midst of a huge expansion programme started only in the mid-1930s against the threat of a remilitarized Germany. The service had grown rapidly in numbers, but was still in a comparatively poor state where modern aircraft were concerned. Several new types had indeed entered service, but these were available only in modest numbers and were thus partnered by types, which operations soon showed to be hopelessly obsolete. Yet the RAF soon found its feet in combat, and its various commands went from strength to strength throughout the war. New aircraft were developed and produced to meet an evolving demand, and amongst the high points in the RAF’s history in World War II must be the continuous development of the Spitfire as a first line fighter, the largest-scale production of the classic Lancaster heavy bomber, and the introduction of the Meteor as Britain’s first operational jet fighter.

The post-war period was marked by a running down of the force, throughout a cont8inued spate of smaller wars combined with the growing threat of the USSR to stimulate a continued programme of medium-and high-performance aircraft such as the Canberra light bomber, the heavy V-Bombers and the Hunter fighter. The notorious defence white paper of 1957 dealt a serious blow to the RAF, and this adverse buffet was compounded by politically motivated elimination of other important programmes in the 1960s. Yet the service emerged into the 1970s with a reduced commitment to imperial matters and with emphasis on NATO operations it increasingly fielded capable aircraft such as Harrier close-support, Jaguar attack, Buccaneer strike, Nimrod maritime patrol and Lightning interceptor types. The service was able to involve itself in a fascinating programme for the Tornado multirole platform. The 1980s have seen the proving of several types in the Falklands war and the service entry of the Tornado, while the RAF is now looking ahead to the service debut of the Sentry AWACS aeroplane and full development of the European Fighter Aircraft for a debut in the mid-1990s.

 The History of the RAF is an authoritative and very readable account of the RAF through the last 54 years, culminating in the Gulf War; the carefully integrated text and photographs highlighting the linked development of the service and its aircraft between 1939 and the present.