The Science of Bombing: Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command
Published: June 2009© 2009
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 384 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
384 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.85 in
After suffering devastating losses in the early stages of the Second World War, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force established an Operational Research Section within bomber command in order to drastically improve the efficiency of bombing missions targeting Germany. In The Science of Bombing, Randall Wakelam explores the work of civilian scientists who found critical solutions to the navigational and target-finding problems and crippling losses that initially afflicted the RAF.
Drawing on previously unexamined files that re-assess the efficacy of strategic bombing from tactical and technical perspectives, Wakelam reveals the important role scientific research and advice played in operational planning and how there existed a remarkable intellectual flexibility at Bomber Command. A fascinating glimpse into military strategy and decision-making, The Science of Bombing will find a wide audience among those interested in air power history as well as military strategists, air force personnel, and aviation historians.
'The Science of Bombing illustrates how science was exploited by the Royal Air Force in the Second World War through the creation of Bomber Command's Operational Research Section, and represents a far more detailed examination of this important subject than anything previously attempted. The author also challenges some of the more enduring critiques of the Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, and demonstrates that he was in fact a very innovative and flexible commander.' Sebastian Ritchie, Air Historical Branch, Royal Air Force