The Rise of the Bomber: RAF-Army Planning 1919 to Munich 1938

Author(s): Greg Baughen 

ISBN: 9781781554937
£17.50 £25.00
The story of how the RAF based its inter-war defence strategy on weapons of mass destruction and why it failed.

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  • The story of the first defence policy based on weapons of mass destruction

  • An account of the first attempt to substitute air power for armies and navies

  • The truth about how the Air Staff misled the government, deceived itself and left the country defenceless

  • Based on original archive material and supplemented with many unpublished photographs

The Rise of the Bomber: RAF-Army Planning 1919 to Munich 1938, the second book in the series, author Greg Baughen uses archive material to reassess British air policy in the inter-war years. Gone is the image of a Royal Air Force starved of funds and struggling for survival against a bullying Army and Navy. Instead, Baughen describes how the Air Force set out to replace both the Army and Navy.

It blocked the development of a modern air/tank strategy and won government backing for a defence policy built around the bomber – the first weapon of mass destruction. Yet the time and money invested in the policy achieved nothing. When put to the test in 1938, the equipment proved inadequate and the strategy flawed.

The Air Staff had misled the government, deceived itself and left the country defenceless. Yet, all was not lost. Unintentionally, the Air Ministry had been creating the aircraft that might still save the country...

BOOK ISBN 9781781554937
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 304 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 15 December 2015
ILLUSTRATIONS 3 maps - 83 black-and-white photographs



Greg Baughen was educated at Sussex University where he obtained a degree in Mathematics. His interest in military aviation was sparked by curiosity over the calamitous defeat of British and French forces in the Battle of France in 1940. For many years, he has delved through public archives in Paris and London seeking explanations. The quest has taken him back to the origins of air power in both countries and forward to what might have been in the Cold War. Baughen is currently working on a series of studies that will trace the history of the RAF from its origins through to the thermonuclear age.