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The Science of Bombing Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command by Randall T. Wakelam

The Science of Bombing Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command


The Science of Bombing Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command by Randall T. Wakelam

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.


aWarming up to the Cold War is a tightly focused and beautifully written study of Canadian reactions to the myriad emergencies of the early Cold War period. Robert Teigrob argues - entirely persuasively - that the Gouzenko affair, the nuclear build-up, and finally, the Korean War were felt keenly by ordinary Canadians, so much so that they drove cautious government officials towards the alliance with the United States. Teigrob's revisionist discoveries are extremely important and restore agency to Canadians in the early postwar period. The book impressed me at every level and I enjoyed it immensely. The author has done us a great service in packing so much provocative analysis into such an accessible book.'-Robert Wright, Department of History, Trent University

About the Author

Randall T. Wakelam is the director of research and symposia at the Canadian Forces College and an assistant professor of Defence Studies with the Royal Military College.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th June 2009


Randall T. Wakelam

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University of Toronto Press


384 pages


Air forces & warfare
Defence strategy, planning & research
Second World War



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