The Science of Bombing - Operational Research in RAF Bomber

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R5868
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The Science of Bombing - Operational Research in RAF Bomber

Post by R5868 »

Has anyone read this book by Randall Thomas Wakelam? It sounds interesting but wondered if anyone has before deciding whether or not to buy it.

Synopsis



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.


Kerry
http://www.anzacsons.com
150 and 467/463 Squadrons

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ME453
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Re: The Science of Bombing - Operational Research in RAF Bo

Post by ME453 »

I haven't read the book Kerry, but I always make a point of looking at ORS files when I go to the NA, they're fascinating in the perspective that they give to the bomber war, and largely unknown or appreciated. Worth investigating I think.
Max
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Re: The Science of Bombing - Operational Research in RAF Bo

Post by kookabat »

Yes Kerry, I've got this one. Wakelam goes into great detail. It's sometimes a little dry but it's fascinating to see how science - statistical analysis primarily - was used to explain things and to calculate, for example, the optimum concentration of aircraft to a) overwhelm the defences without b) increasing the collision risk. He also looks at the development of marking tactics and their relative effectiveness.
It was a little-known part of the entire Bomber Command machine and this book goes a good way to giving some sort of an idea of what went on behind the scenes. Recommended.
Adam
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R5868
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Re: The Science of Bombing - Operational Research in RAF Bo

Post by R5868 »

Adam, I bought a copy for my e-reader and have read the first chapter. Makes you realise the British military attitude to everything at the time - it worked in WW1 so it must work in WW2. Also their attitude of just expecting precision bombing to occur without experienced crews or the necessary equipment to locate the target and, if you questioned the methods, you were being subversive and were replaced by someone who agreed with the establishment. Looks interesting.
Kerry
http://www.anzacsons.com
150 and 467/463 Squadrons

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