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Forming the Pathfinders The Career of Air Vice-Marshal Sydney Bufton by Hugh Melinsky

Forming the Pathfinders The Career of Air Vice-Marshal Sydney Bufton


Forming the Pathfinders The Career of Air Vice-Marshal Sydney Bufton by Hugh Melinsky

This fascinating biography reveals the great battle between the Air Ministry, Bufton and Harris in the quest for precision bombing in World War Two. Sidney Bufton was a modest Welshman who joined the RAF in 1928. Having served in France as a Staff Officer though 1939-40, he was posted to a bomber squadron, won the DFC as a pilot, and went on to command a squadron himself. By 1941, at just thirty-three, he was Deputy Director of Bomber Operations at the Air Ministry. By this time he had already formed a clear idea of what would improve bombing operations and became responsible for conceiving and forming the Pathfinder Force in the face of bitter opposition from 'Bomber' Harris, who treated him with great contempt. Nonetheless Harris lost his battle, and Bufton went on to be the joint chairman of the allied committee advising on targets ? including the notorious Dresden raids, for which policy of total devastation muddied Harris's name forever. Post-war, Bufton held a key role in the introduction and tactical use of nuclear weapons and ended his career Chief of Air Staff. In this gripping history Revd Canon Hugh Melinsky presents the career of an often overlooked but pivotal figure, and offers a revealing insight into the decisions of war.

About the Author

Hugh Melinksy is a retired Church of England cleric with a long career and a heavy involvement in the Institution of Religion and medicine, among other things. He has written many books on religion, medicine, and also on code, reflecting his wartime career as an RAF code-breaker.

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Book Info

Publication date

17th August 2010


Hugh Melinsky

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The History Press Ltd


192 pages


Biography: historical, political & military
Diaries, letters & journals



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