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.
The book reviews the actual effectiveness of military air power in accomplishing desired military and political goals in a number of conflicts following WWII. During the Korean War and the Vietnam War, U.S. air power attempted a re-run of WWII aerial activities. However, in both conflicts, political constraints prevented the United States from achieving its desired political results, although the 1972 B-52 strategic bombing campaign against Hanoi worked to bring the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table. The Falklands/Malvinas War pitted the UK against Argentina in a remote corner of the South Atlantic. Air power allowed a U.K victory, barely. The USSR held air supremacy over Afghanistan but was unable to subdue tough Afghan guerrillas, and was finally forced to withdraw after Stinger missiles were introduced. The Gulf War demonstrated the increasing effectiveness of precision aerial weaponry. The conflict in Kosovo finally produced a result long sought by air power enthusiasts-an end to fighting brought about by air attack alone.
This sweeping history of the development of professional, institutionalized intelligence examines the implications of the fall of the state monopoly on espionage today and beyond. During the Cold War, only the alliances clustered around the two superpowers maintained viable intelligence endeavors, whereas a century ago, many states could aspire to be competitive at these dark arts. Today, larger states have lost their monopoly on intelligence skills and capabilities as technological and sociopolitical changes have made it possible for private organizations and even individuals to unearth secrets and influence global events. Historian Michael Warner addresses the birth of professional intelligence in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century and the subsequent rise of US intelligence during the Cold War. He brings this history up to the present day as intelligence agencies used the struggle against terrorism and the digital revolution to improve capabilities in the 2000s. Throughout, the book examines how states and other entities use intelligence to create, exploit, and protect secret advantages against others, and emphasizes how technological advancement and ideological competition drive intelligence, improving its techniques and creating a need for intelligence and counterintelligence activities to serve and protect policymakers and commanders. The world changes intelligence and intelligence changes the world. This sweeping history of espionage and intelligence will be a welcomed by practitioners, students, and scholars of security studies, international affairs, and intelligence, as well as general audiences interested in the evolution of espionage and technology.
A fascinating insider's view of how and why Germany's Air Force lost the Second World War, drawing on authentic captured documents, and highly illustrated with rare original photographs and maps from captured German records