For a hundred years the Royal Air Force has been at the forefront of the UK's defences. In the 1920s and 1930s, the RAF protected Britain's empire; during the Second World War it played a key role in defeating the Axis; and through the 1950s and 1960s it was a key part of Britain's nuclear deterrent. Julian Hale examines the history of the RAF through its organisation, personnel, aircraft and campaigns, from the biplanes of the First World War, through its `Finest Hour' in 1940 and the dawn of the jet age to today's hi-tech aircraft and the emerging role of the unmanned aerial vehicle. Enriched with personal accounts and a wealth of photographs, this book provides a concise introduction to the world's first air force.
Julian Hale read History at Lancaster University and completed an MA on the RFC and RAF in the Middle East during the First World War. In 2012, he joined the RAF Museum and catalogued the Jack Bruce Collection, an archive of First World War and inter-war aircraft and personnel images. He is now the Assistant Curator for the Museum's Centenary Programme.
Introduction Formation (1911-19) A Silver Air Force (1919-39) To War (1939-45) Into the Jet Age (1945-90) A New World (1990-2018) Further Reading Places to Visit Index