Two Roads to War

Two Roads to War

The French and British Air Arms From Versailles to Dunkirk

Book - 2012
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Book News
This work compares the development of the British and French air forces between the world wars and during the early years of WWII, investigating the reasons behind the failure of the French to prepare for air war and the factors contributing to the success of the Royal Air Force. There is special attention to the geographic, social, political, economic, and technological base of the French air force and its military policies. Appendices list French and British political and military leaders and also provide documents and a glossary. Higham, a former RAF pilot, has written other books on the history of military aviation. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Naval Inst Pr
Noted aviation historian Robin Higham has written this comparative study of the evolution of the French and British air arms from 1918 to 1940 to determine why the Armée de l'Air was defeated in June 1940 but the Royal Air Force was able to win the battle over Britain in September. After analyzing the structure, men, and matériel of the air arms, and the government and economic infrastructure of both countries, he concludes that the French force was dominated by the Armée de Terre, had no suitably powerful aero engines, and suffered from the chaos of French politics. In contrast, the independent RAF evolved into a sophisticated, scientifically based force, supported by consistent government practices. Higham's thorough examination, however, finds the British not without error.

Publisher: Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, c2012
Description: xxii, 410 p., [12] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781612510583
Branch Call Number: 940.544 Hig


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