In 1920 the fledgling Royal Air Force was tasked with enforcing British rule in Mesopotamia, an area roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq and Kuwait. This tough assignment involved flying in extreme climate – sometimes over perilous terrain - dealing with tribes that were often hostile, and struggling to keep inadequate aircraft and vehicles operational.
The RAF succeeded, and it is arguable that its dedication ensured that Britain continued to have an independent air force at a time when defence spending was being savagely cut.
This book covers not only Mesopotamia, but the whole of the Middle East, Egypt and East Africa. It includes the RAF’s support for the pioneer long-distance flyers and early airline services.
The feature of Vic Flintham’s work we are confident will delight even the best-informed students of RAF history is the photographs. There are more than 560 of them. Hardly any have appeared in print before. Most are of astonishing quality.
The types illustrated include the DH.9A, F.2b, Short 184, Snipe, Handley Page O/400, Vimy, Vernon, Victoria, Nighthawk, Wapiti, Fairey IIIF, Rangoon, Southampton, Blenheim, Gordon, Demon, Gladiator, Hind and Wellesley.
There are also wonderful images of officers and men at both work and leisure, armoured vehicles, aircraft carriers, and of course the airfields. This visual feast is rounded off by four glorious full-page colour paintings and 22 maps.
A4 hardback. 320 pages + index.