The Royal Air Force

A Centenary of Operations

The Royal Air Force cover


A fully illustrated history of the Royal Air Force while on operations, publishing to mark the centenary of its foundation in World War I.

The world's first independent air force, the Royal Air Force celebrates its centenary in 2018. In the 100 years since the end of World War I, the service has been involved in almost continuous operations around the globe, giving the RAF the longest and most wide-ranging history of any air force in the world. But over the years this history has also become entangled with myths.

The Royal Air Force: A Centenary of Operations sets the record straight, dispelling these as it uncovers – in both words and photographs – the true exploits and accomplishments of RAF personnel over the last 100 years. From its formation as an independent service in the dying days of World War I, its desperate fight against the Axis air forces in World War II, to its commitments during both the Cold War and modern times, this is the complete story of how the RAF has defended Britain for a century.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – 1918-28
Formation & Early Years; WW1 operations – Western Front (including Independent Air Force and Home Defence), Italy, Greece (Salonika), Palestine, Mesopotamia; Russia 1918–20; Somaliland (Force Z) 1919–20
Air Control – Aden, Iraq, Palestine, TransJordan, Sudan, India; India (including 'Pink's War' 1925); Shanghai Defence Force 1927; Kabul Rescue 1928

Chapter 2 – 1928-1938
Re-armament & Expansion; Air Control – Aden, Iraq, Palestine, TransJordan, Sudan, India; Long-Range Flights 1933, 1938; High-Altitude Flights 1936;Schneider Trophy 1929-31; Empire Air Days; Radar; Fighter Command; Bomber Command; Coastal Command (including Fleet Air Arm)

Chapter 3 – 1938-1948
Second World War; 1940 – France, Norway, Eritrea, Battle of Britain; 1941 – Egypt & Mediterranean (-1944), Far East (-1945); Day bomber ops, Fighter sweeps, Coastal Ops (Bay of Biscay, Norway); Bomber Offensive Bomber ops over Balkans & Central Europe from Italy; Photo-Recce; Air-Sea Rescue; RAF Regiment; Java 1947

Chapter 4 – 1948-58
Beginnings of Cold War & End of Empire; Berlin Airlift 1948; Malaya 1948–58; Korea 1950–53 (including RAF pilots fly with USAF); Kenya Mau Mau 1952–56; Suez 1956; Cyprus EOKA 1956–60; V- Bombers; Operation Grapple H-Bombs 1956–58;NATO/ 2 TAF Germany; RAuxAF

Chapter 5 – 1958-68
Cold War; Thor IRBM 1958–63; V-Force Blue Steel 1963–70; Air-to-Air refuelling; Earthquake relief Morocco 1960; Famine Relief Kenya & Somalia 1961–62; Hurricane relief Honduras 1961; Kuwait Crisis 1961
Berlin Crisis 1961;Indonesia Confrontation 1963–66; Cyprus 1964; Rhodesia UDI/Zambia 1965; Torrey Canyon 1967

Chapter 6 – 1968-78
Re-equipment; RAF Germany; Humanitarian relief – East Pakistan 1971, Nicaragua 1972, Nepal (Op Khana Cascade) 1973; Belize 1971 Harrier Force (-93);Northern Ireland – Op Banner (Helicopter Force) 1972–2002
Interceptions of Soviet aircraft in UK airspace; Exercises – RED FLAG 1977;SAR helicopters?

Chapter 7 – 1978-88
Last Days of the Cold War; Falkland War Op Corporate 1982; Lebanon Op Pulsator 1983; Famine Relief; Ethiopia (Op Bushel 1984–85); Rhodesia/Zimbabwe 1979/80; Gibraltar; Falkland Air Defence

Chapter 8 – 1988-98
Back to Operations; End of Cold War 1988; Gulf War Op Granby 1991;Op Warden Northern Iraq 1991–2001
Op Jural/Bolton Southern Iraq 1991–2001; Op Desert Fox Iraq 1998; Bosnia 1993–98; Zaire (Canberra PR) 1996; RAF Regiment in Cambodia (UN)

Chapter 9 – 1998-2008
Continued Operations; Kosovo Op Engadine 1999; Iraq Op Jural/Warden/Bolton/Resinate; Sierra Leone Op Palliser 2000;Gulf War 2 – Op Telic 2003–11; Afghanistan – Op Herrick 2002–14; Air Defence of Falklands

Chapter 10 – 2008-2018
Iraq - Op Telic -2011;Afghanistan – Op Herrick -2014 ;Libya – Op Ellamy 2011; Iraq/Syria – Op Shader 2014–present; Baltic Air Policing

Product details

Published Feb 22 2018
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 288
ISBN 9781472825384
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Fully illustrated in colour and black and white
Series General Aviation
Short code GNA
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Michael Napier

Michael Napier qualified as an RAF strike/attack p…


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