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The conceptual origins of the control of the air: British military and naval aviation, 1911 – 1918

Pugh, James Neil (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the conceptual origins of the control of the air in Britain between 1911 and 1918. It concludes that military and naval aviators possessed an innate understanding of the concept, informed by the wider operational and organisational context of their respective parent services. For the Royal Flying Corps, the control of the air was understood in terms of providing auxiliary support to the British Army in the field. For the Royal Naval Air Service, the concept possessed an inherently strategic slant. Pre-war theorising, developed during the First World War, has been the subject of some controversy in the literature. The overtly tactical focus of the Royal Flying Corps and its concept of the control of the air, praised in the first instance, is now widely criticised. In contrast, naval aviators, highlighted as lacking focus and direction, are now hailed as progressive innovators. By examining various facets affecting the conceptual origins of the control of the air, including doctrine, education, and relations with allies, this thesis attempts to reinvigorate the traditional interpretation of military and naval air power in Britain during this period.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gray, Peter
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Modern History
Subjects:D501 World War I
DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4314
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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