Author(s): Mike Osborne
Proximity to major thoroughfares have, over the centuries, given Bedfordshire some measure of strategic importance. Iron-age forts occupy significant locations and castles demonstrate how control was enforced after the Norman invasion of 1066.
The county was the scene of two major events in mediaeval times: in 1224, the siege of Bedford Castle marked Henry III’s attempt to re-impose royal authority and at the Second Battle of St Albans in 1461, a Lancastrian army arriving from Dunstable achieved a major Yorkist defeat.
During the twentieth century, the county’s industrial base provided necessary materiel for the armies fighting overseas. In the Second World War, it made a significant contribution to the birth of the RAF as well as providing the base for the Home Defence armies.
During the war, RAF and USAAF bombers took off from our airfields, but the major activity was a secret war largely located in the Bedford Triangle.
After the war, aeronautical research continued at RAF Thurleigh/Twinwood Farm and electronic intelligence-gathering was developed at Chicksands.
|234 x 156 mm
|27 May 2021
|119 black-and-white illustrations and photographs