#ResearchNote – An Isomorphic Culture: The RAF and the RAAF

Here are some very early thoughts I wrote in 2018 on the development of the organisational culture of the RAAF. They were published over on From Balloons to Drones.

From Balloons to Drones

By Dr Ross Mahoney

As I have mentioned here, my current research is focused on the culture of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and how this has affected the Service’s effectiveness, ability to adapt to changing geostrategic challenges and its place within Australia’s broader strategic culture and national security framework. As such, this research has implications for discussions bridging several disciplines including history, military sociology, and strategic studies. One of the critical research questions I am examining is what have been the key influences on the developing culture of the RAAF. While one source of RAAF culture is the values and beliefs that service members bring to the organisation another is the Air Force’s relationship with other air forces. This importance of such relationships especially significant for small air forces, such as the RAAF, who maintain close relationships with larger air forces, such as the RAF. Indeed, if…

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Re-Evaluating Air Power in Vietnam after 50 Years: The Linebacker Campaigns and Potential Turning Points in Air Power History

On 30 April 2022, I returned to presenting at conferences! It has been over two years since I last presented at a conference – pre-COVID and pre-my current role. As well as the factors mentioned above, there are lots of reasons why this was that I won’t bore you with. However, suffice to say, it... Continue Reading →

#ResearchNote – J.M. Spaight after the Second World War

Here is another old research note that I wrote for From Balloons to Drones. It is a subject I would like to return to one day as Spaight was an interesting character and a significant air power thinker.

From Balloons to Drones

By Dr Ross Mahoney

In 2004, War in History published an article by Alaric Searle that posed the question ‘Was there a ‘Boney’ Fuller after the Second World War?’.[1] In short, Searle concluded that Major-General J.F.C. Fuller’s theoretical writing continued after 1945 alongside his historical writing and was not simply a ‘footnote to [his] biography.’[2] Searle’s question is an interesting one and could easily be applied to James Malony Spaight. In the inter-war years, Spaight, who was a trained jurist and, as a civilian, served in the Air Ministry, produced several notable volumes on air warfare with particular reference to issues such as its legality. As Robin Higham reflected:

No survey of British airpower theorists in the interwar years would be complete without mention of […] Spaight.[3]

Furthermore, Peter Gray noted that Spaight’s influence, due to his work within the Air Ministry, went further than just being…

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#AirWarBooks – Dr Ross Mahoney

Here is something I wrote back in 2017 about some of the books that have influenced me as an air power historian.

From Balloons to Drones

By Dr Ross Mahoney

Editorial Note: In the second instalment of ‘Air War Books,’ the editor of From Balloons to Drones, Dr Ross Mahoney discusses the ten books that have influenced and shaped his writing as an air power historian.

As editor of From Balloons to Drones, I thought I should reflect on what are probably the ten key books that have influenced me in my study of air power. However, I make three provisos. First, I attacked this from the perspective of key authors rather than the books themselves per se. As such, I have selected titles that I have enjoyed to illustrate the importance of these writers. Second, I have left out official histories and narratives though these have been just as influential on my writing as other works. Finally, I have included some non-air power texts in here. At the end of the day…

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#BookReview – The Leadership, Direction and Legitimacy of the RAF Bomber Offensive from Inception to 1945

Peter Gray, The Leadership, Direction and Legitimacy of the RAF Bomber Offensive from Inception to 1945. London: Continuum, 2012. Notes. Appendices. Bibliography. Index. Hbk. xv + 346pp. The British Strategic Air Offensive against Germany (SAOG) and the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) remain contentious and divisive areas of debate within the historiography of the Second... Continue Reading →

#ReviewArticle – Air Power in Technicolour

John Dibbs and Tony Holmes, Spitfire: The Legend Lives On. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2016. Foreword. Images. Appendices. Bibliography. Index. Hbk. 224 pp. John Dibbs, Tony Holmes, and Gordon Riley, Hurricane: Hawker’s Fighter Legend. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2017. Foreword. Images. Appendix. Bibliography. Index. Hbk. 256 pp. John Dibbs, Kent Ramsey and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Renner, Storm of Eagles: The... Continue Reading →

#BookReview – The de Havilland Hornet & Sea Hornet: A Detailed Guide to the RAF & FAA’s Last Twin-engine Fighter

Richard A. Franks, The de Havilland Hornet & Sea Hornet: A Detailed Guide to the RAF & FAA’s Last Twin-engine Fighter. Bedford: Valiant Wings Publishing, 2015. Images. Colour Profiles. Appendices. Bibliography. Pbk. 146pp. The de Havilland Hornet is arguably one of the most beautiful aircraft ever designed. The development of the Hornet can be traced... Continue Reading →

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