Supreme air command - the development of royal air force command practice in the second world war

Walker, David (2018). Supreme air command - the development of royal air force command practice in the second world war. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines the development of RAF high command of the Metropolitan Air Force (MAF) during the Second World War (SWW). It sheds new light on the re-organisations of the Air Ministry in 1934, the RAF Command structure in 1936, and the tri-service debate in 1937 concerning the RAF proposal to establish a Supreme Air Commander (SAC). It reveals that while frontline expansion created an impetus for re-organisation, it was operational readiness that was the dominant factor in the re-structuring of the RAF. It examines the transition in RAF frontline organization from the mono-functional command system of 1936 to the multi-functional organisation that emerged after 1943 by looking at command structure and practice, personalities, and operational thinking. This study builds on the established historiography but challenges the accepted explanation of RAF reforms in the 1930s. It addresses a significant gap in the literature concerning the way the frontline was directed by the War Cabinet and the Air Ministry. In doing so it seeks to establish a new starting point for the analysis of RAF high command by providing an assessment of how effective were the RAF reforms of the 1930s to the higher command of MAF operations during the SWW.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)


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