Gray, Peter William (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis examines the strategic leadership, and the high level direction, of the Royal Air Force’s contribution to the strategic air offensive against Germany. It takes the conceptual thinking, the organisational aspects and the leadership required to bring it into being, from its inception in the First World War through to 1945. The thesis uses modern understanding of strategic (or senior) leadership as an analytical tool. The realm of strategic leadership is complex, and ambiguous, and the senior leaders required high levels of intellectual capacity to cope with the survival of the force and its subsequent rapid to meet the rising threat from Germany. The senior leaders, political and military, acknowledged that their methods of warfare must be just, and the thesis examines the legality and morality of the planning and conduct of the offensive. A key facet of strategic leadership is the setting of the vision and purpose of the enterprise and the thesis examines the challenges that arose from the competing views on how the offensive should be waged. Genuine strategic leadership requires dexterity in working at the interfaces with other organisations, or Allies, and the thesis examines the complexities of the Combined Bomber Offensive and Overlord.
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