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Title: Inter-war, inter-service friction on the North-West Frontier of India and its impact on the development and application of RAF doctrine
Author: Walters, Andrew John Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 2286
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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India’s North-West Frontier was the one area where the British Raj could suffer a knockout blow from either external Russian invasion or internal revolt. Frontier defence was amongst the greatest burdens during India’s inter-War financial austerity. Despite the RAF’s operational and financial efficacy in 1920s Iraq, air control was never implemented on the Frontier and air power’s potential was never fully exploited. Instead, aircraft were employed to enhance the Army’s traditional battlefield capabilities, resulting in efficient tactical co-ordination during the 1930s Waziristan campaign - the RAF’s most operationally-active pre-War theatre. To address why air power was constrained on the Frontier, the Thesis examines the inter-War relationship between the Armies of India and the RAF and its impact on the development and application of RAF doctrine. It concludes that the conservatively-natured Indian Armies were slow to recognise the conceptual shift required to fully exploit air power. This entrenchment was reinforced by inter-Service rivalry and the threat of aircraft replacing land forces with a concomitant loss of political standing. The enduring high-level internecine conflict resulted in the squandering of both resources and the opportunity to test independent, ‘strategic’ air power theory prior to WWII. Its legacy impacted on Army-RAF relations into WWII.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: D731 World War II ; DA Great Britain ; DS Asia ; JZ International relations ; U Military Science (General)