For Britain, with its long history of maritime-based empire protection, the invention and successful development of the aeroplane represented a substantial shift in the perception and application of national defence.
|Book cover finish
||Hardcover ( rounded spine binding )
|Number of pages
||19 x 26 x 3 cm
||ARMS AND ARMOUR PRESS
For Britain, with its long history of maritime-based empire protection, the invention and successful development of the aeroplane represented a substantial shift in the perception and application of national defence. The emergence of the Royal Air force in April 1918 as an independent service was the recognition of air power as an independent force capable of greater destruction over land and sea than any existing weaponry. Even as its battlefield capabilities were being tested and explored, the RAF realized that provision was needed for the air defence of Great Britain.
Seventy-five years on, that role remains paramount: the story of its evolution is the subject of this new book. At its core is the author's contention that in air power, as in every branch of the military, offensive developments are constantly being met by new counter-measures. Thus, against the threat of the attacking bomber, the fighter was developed; and when missile technology proved incapable of meeting air defence needs entirely, the fighter returned to its vital role in the whole structure.
Sky Guardians offers snapshots of UK air defences at ten-yearly intervals, detailing how each threat was perceived and what the response to it was, with a critique of that response and subsequent orders of battle to demonstrate how air defence evolved in real terms. In-depth reviews of the major examples over 75 years include the first German raids on Britain and the development of anti-aircraft artillery; the appearance of German Heinkel and Dornier bombers in the 1930s and the design of the Hurricane and Spitfire to defeat this threat; and the defence against Soviet Cold War bombers in the form of the Hunter and Bloodhound.
The result is a progressive history that concludes with the state of current defences and thoughts for the future: how will emerging challenges to the UK and NATO be met and countered? Illustrated with a wide range of photographs of the weapons systems deployed through three quarters of a century, this is an unusual and perceptive new assessment, with particular value in this anniversary year for the RAF.