By Robin Higham
Famous aviation historian Robin Higham has written this comparative research of the evolution of the French and British air fingers from 1918 to 1940 to figure out why the Armée de l’Air was once defeated in June 1940 however the Royal Air strength was once capable of win the conflict over Britain in September. After interpreting the constitution, males, and matériel of the air palms, and the govt and fiscal infrastructure of either nations, he concludes that the French strength used to be ruled by way of the Armée de Terre, had no definitely robust aero engines, and suffered from the chaos of French politics. by contrast, the self sustaining RAF advanced right into a refined, scientifically dependent strength, supported through constant executive practices. Higham’s thorough exam, besides the fact that, reveals the British no longer with no mistakes.
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Extra info for Two Roads to War: The French and British Air Arms from Versailles to Dunkirk
The GQG Service Aéronatique attempted to meet the unanticipated needs of the front and of the reserves. Industry received contracts for both aircraft and engines, but efficient production was hampered by lack of blueprints, rising labor and material costs, and so on, as well as the calling up of skilled labor. Also creating havoc was the habit of the front to send pilots directly to factories to commandeer needed replacement machines. Deliveries in late 1914 were half those promised and lacked accountability.
Policies subsequently evolved to meet specific crises. But deprived of its industrial and raw materials in the northeast, France had to seek credit, production, and transportation from abroad. The country had to import wheat, coal, and sugar, and it had to pay for them. Necessity caused the creation of interallied purchasing and shipping commissions and parallel organizations within France. And the British increasingly demanded that the French make the same sacrifices and accept the same limitations as their British counterparts, thus forcing the almost complete regulation of the French economy.
In France after 1918 grand strategy was the province of the Centre des Hautes Études Militaires (center for high military studies). The École de Guerre (war college) withered under the great marshals like the aging Pétain, and became engrossed in minutiae of divisional handling and running of set-piece battles. In the French system up to June 1940, the emphasis was still on the power of reasoning and on an academic approach to study, whereas in the British Army the emphasis was to integrate the academic and the actual with the application of knowledge and judgment to war conditions.