Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.719880
Title: Neuropsychiatry and the management of aerial warfare : the Royal Air Force Neuropsychiatric Division in the Second World War
Author: Cobden, Lynsey Shaw
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This work is a critical assessment of the role of neuropsychiatry in the management of aerial warfare. Focussing almost exclusively on the Second World War (1939-45), the thesis demonstrates how the Royal Air Force (RAF) mobilised specialist medical knowledge to improve wastage and combat efficiency in flying personnel. Neurological and psychiatric expertise was enlisted to improve service performance and reduce the burden of neuropsychiatric disorders. To meet these key objectives, the RAF neuropsychiatric division undertook important administrative and therapeutic duties in the areas of personnel selection, service discipline, neuropsychiatric research, and the treatment of mental disorders. The work therefore assesses how the division responded to these challenges and contributed to the management of aerial warfare. The thesis assesses the factors that shaped the practice of neuropsychiatry in the service. Historically, the training and personal interests of specialists and the context of therapeutic practice guided the development of mental health specialties. To gain a fuller appreciation of the administrative and therapeutic duties of the division, this work explores the medical, social, military, and professional factors that shaped neuropsychiatric thought and practice. Secondly, the work engages with the 'human element' of aerial combat. The physical and mental health of aircrew was fundamental to the conduct of the air war and underpinned the administrative decisions of the air force. It was the primary objective of the neuropsychiatric division to preserve and develop these vital human resources. Neuropsychiatric disorders represented a challenge to efficiency, for they could affect the performance and motivation of a flyer. The thesis will examine how the neuropsychiatric division attempted to sustain aircrew by preventing and treating the disorders that compromised their efficiency.
Supervisor: Harrison, Mark Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.719880  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Neuropsychiatry ; Airmen--Great Britain ; World War ; 1939-1945--Psychological aspects ; World War ; 1939-1945--Aerial operations
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