On 10 May 1940, the French possessed one of the largest air forces in the world. On paper, it was nearly as strong as the RAF. Six weeks later, France had been defeated. For a struggling French Army desperately looking for air support, the skies seemed empty of friendly planes. In the decades that followed, the debate raged. Were there unused stockpiles of planes? Were French aircraft really so inferior? Baughen examines the myths that surround the French defeat. He explains how at the end of the First World War, the French had possessed the most effective air force in the world, only for the lessons learned to be forgotten. Instead, air policy was guided by radical theories that predicted air power alone would decide future wars. Baughen traces some of the problems back to the very earliest days of French aviation. He describes the mistakes and bad luck that dogged the French efforts to modernise their air force in the twenties and thirties. He examines how decisions made just months before the German attack further weakened the air force. Yet defeat was not inevitable. If better use had been made of the planes that were available, the result might have been different.
Starting with the sinister rumblings of World War II in 1939 up to the jubilant celebration of its end in 1945 and the bitter aftermath, this sweeping saga recounts the experiences of Pawel, a Polish Jew from Krakow. Pawel and his family are the early victims of the ravages of war. He narrowly escapes the concentration camps to become a member of the French Resistance, before being rescued by the British and enlisted in the Royal Air Force. As the war escalates, Pawel and his fellow pilots engage in dangerous rescue missions and air combat across North Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, Australia, and Europe, in a series of historic encounters that culminate in the Battle of Berlin. Against the background of death and destruction, Pawel fathers two children. His former Austrian fianc, Ada Eissmann, has spurned their love to return to her Nazi heritage, and has disowned their relationship and his paternity of the child she carries. After finding love again with Janelle and fathering her child, he is separated from her when they have to flee to safety to escape the Nazi death squads. Finding his love and his two children becomes a personal mission for him, representing hope and the chance for happiness after years of conflict, danger, deprivation and loss.
This book integrates strategy, technology and economics and presents a new way of looking at twentieth-century military history and Britain's decline as a great power. G. C. Peden explores how from the Edwardian era to the 1960s warfare was transformed by a series of innovations, including dreadnoughts, submarines, aircraft, tanks, radar, nuclear weapons and guided missiles. He shows that the cost of these new weapons tended to rise more quickly than national income and argues that strategy had to be adapted to take account of both the increased potency of new weapons and the economy's diminishing ability to sustain armed forces of a given size. Prior to the development of nuclear weapons, British strategy was based on an ability to wear down an enemy through blockade, attrition (in the First World War) and strategic bombing (in the Second), and therefore power rested as much on economic strength as on armaments.
'An expert in probing mafia-type relationships in present-day Russia, Martin McCauley here offers a vigorously written scrutiny of Soviet politics and society since the days of Lenin and Stalin.' John Keep, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto. The birth of the Soviet Union surprised many; its demise amazed the whole world. How did imperial Russia give way to the Soviet Union in 1917, and why did the USSR collapse so quickly in 1991? Marxism promised paradise on earth, but the Communist Party never had true power, instead allowing Lenin and Stalin to become dictators who ruled in its name. The failure of the planned economy to live up to expectations led to a boom in the unplanned economy, in particular the black market. In turn, this led to the growth of organised crime and corruption within the government. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union examines the strengths, weaknesses, and contradictions of the first Marxist state, and reassesses the role of power, authority and legitimacy in Soviet politics. Including first-person accounts, anecdotes, illustrations and diagrams to illustrate key concepts, McCauley provides a seminal history of twentieth-century Russia.
De Gaulle, the British and the Re-emergence of French Airpower 1940-45
Author: G. H. Bennett
Publisher: A&C Black
This book examines and analyses the relationship between the RAF, the Free French Movement and the French fighter pilots in WWII. A highly significant subject, this has been ignored by academics on both sides of the Channel. This ground-breaking study will fill a significant gap in the historiography of the War. Bennett's painstaking research has unearthed primary source material in both Britain and France including Squadron records, diaries, oral histories and memoirs. In the post-war period the idea of French pilots serving with the RAF seemed anachronistic to both sides. For the French nation the desire to draw a veil over the war years helped to obscure many aspects of the past, and for the British the idea of French pilots did not accord with the myths of "the Few" to whom so much was owed. Those French pilots who served had to make daring escapes. Classed as deserters they risked court martial and execution if caught. They would play a vital role on D-Day and the battle for control of the skies which followed.
In this precise, interpretive and informative volume, Higham looks at everything from the roots of strategic bombing and tactical air power to the lessons learned and unlearned during the invasion of Ethiopia, the war in China and the Spanish Civil War. He also considers the problems posed by jet aircraft in Korea and the use of Patriot missiles in the Persian Gulf. He covers anti-guerrilla operations, doctrine, industrial activities and equipment, as well as the development of commercial airlines.
While the campaign in Norway from April to June 1940 was a depressing opening to active hostilities between Britain and Nazi Germany, it led directly to Churchill's war leadership and The Coalition. Both were to prove decisive in the long term.??This well researched work opens with a summary of the issues and personalities in British politics in the 1930s. The consequences of appeasement and failure to re-arm quickly became apparent in April 1940. The Royal Navy, which had been the defence priority, found itself seriously threatened by the Luftwaffe's control of the skies. The economies inflicted on the Army were all too obvious when faced by the Wehrmacht. Losses of men and equipment were serious and salutary.??As the Author describes, the campaign itself was fought in three phases: the landings in support of the Norwegians, the evacuation from Central Norway which led to Chamberlain's resignation and, finally, the campaign in the North which remained credible until the fall of France. At the same time he covers the political background and activity in London and cabinet in-fighting.??The Norway Campaign and the Rise of Churchill 1940, with its informed mix of politics and war fighting, provides a well informed and balanced overview of the opening campaign of the Second World War and its immediate and wider consequences.??As featured in the Dover Express, Folkestone Herald and Essence Magazine.