Carlton Books kindly gave us a signed copy of RAF 100: the Official Story by James Holland to give a way in last month’s Pennant Prize Draw!
We are delighted to announce that Brian Tanner was the first name drawn and this beautiful book is ‘winging’ it’s way to him as we speak. Well done Brian.
We also did a review of this commemorative book in the May issue of Pennant, and you can read it below.
REVIEW OF RAF 100 – THE OFFICIAL STORY
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force, this book has been published as part of the RAF’s official centenary programme. Sumptuously produced it benefits from unique access to Service archives and is written by award-winning historian and broadcaster, James Holland.
The RAF came into being as a separate service from the Army’s Royal Flying Corps and the Navy’s Royal Naval Air Service in 1918. It was never going to be an easy birth, beset not only with inter-service rivalries but also with difficulties encountered from Britain’s politicians and military leaders who were comparatively slow to embrace aviation as an important new instrument of war. The book does not dwell overlong on these difficulties instead adopting a methodical historical approach.
Commencing with the genesis of combat flying when pilots were open to the elements in aircraft made of wood and fabric through the years after World War I when the foundations of the new service, thanks largely to Hugh Trenchard, the Chief of the Air Staff, were laid. This was followed by the build up to WW II, and the development of Fighter Command, when the RAF initially was on trial as a fighting service, until the strategic importance of air power became fully realised. There is a chapter on the RAF’s involvement in the Cold War, followed by more recent helicopter operations and massive re-supply requirements in Afghanistan, closing with future RAF planes flying from the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The RAF has wholeheartedly signed up to the Whole Force Concept and this book does justice to an historic centenary leading seamlessly forward into the next century. The are many fine previously unpublished photographs together with a balanced style of writing which merits keeping a copy prominently on the coffee table, irrespective of your background or colour of uniform.
Review written by FPS Member and Retired Squadron Leader John Forbes