Rearming The RAF For The Second World War was published by Pen & Sword History in June 2022. When the RAF rearmed to meet the growing threat from Nazi Germany's remorseless expansion in the late 1930s, it faced immense challenges. It had to manage a huge increase in size as well as mastering rapid advances in aviation technology. To protect Britain from attack, the RAF's commanders had to choose the right strategy and the right balance in its forces. The choices had to be made in peacetime with no guidance from combat experience. These visions had to be translated into practical reality. The results were markedly different in Bomber Command and Fighter Command. The RAF pursued radically different strategies for the two commands with very different outcomes: some triumphant; some disastrous. A shifting cast of government ministers, civil servants and industrialists each with their own financial, military and political agendas brought further dynamics into play. The RAF's readiness for war was crucial to Britain's ability to respond to Nazi aggression before war broke out and when it did, the RAF's rearmament was put to the acid test of battle.
Adrian uses the penetrating grasp of how top level decisions are made that he honed in his inside accounts of the abdication crisis and appeasement, to dissect the process which shaped the RAF of 1940. He looks beyond the familiar legends of the Battle of Britain and explores in depth the successes and failures of a vital element in British preparations for war. His conclusions have provoked furious reactions from historians protective of the Air Staff's performance
"A compelling, sometimes shocking and always thought provoking description of what happens when blind prejudice, bureaucratic infighting and ill-formed theories are allowed to determine defence policy, equipment procurement and the security of the nation." Robert Lyman, author of 'A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain, 1941-45"
A detailed and highly readable account of how the RAF became obsessed with the bomber in the decades before the Second World War, yet even after six years of continual expansion Bomber Command was unable to mount a credible offensive against Germany in 1940. Adrian Phillips skilfully uses archival sources to show how the clash of personalities inside Whitehall combined with false orthodoxies within the Air Ministry to leave Britain with no counter to Hitler's Luftwaffe - except, almost by accident, the Spitfires and Hurricanes of Fighter Command." Brett Holman, author of 'The Next War in the Air: Britain's Fear of the Bomber, 1908-1941'