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Royal Air Force (RAF): books - history (Cold War)

A book on the Royal Air Force (RAF)? Here are books on the history, missions and aircraft of the British Royal Air Force during the Cold War.

The Royal Air Force in the Cold War, 1950-1970 - Rare photographs from Wartime Archives (Images of War)

Soon after the Second world War, wartime allies became Cold War adversaries, and by 1950 the perceived threat of a Soviet strike on Western Europe or Britain dominated military planning. For the next forty years, the Royal Air Force was in the front-line of the Cold War.
In Britain and Germany, light bomber crews exercised in preparation for a future conflict, while interceptor pilots stood by ready to counter incursions by Soviet aircraft. Between 1956 and 1969, the elite crews of the iconic V-Force of nuclear bombers trained to perform the ultimate mission, striking targets deep in the heart of Russia. Protecting British interests overseas, personnel at stations across the Middle East and Far East were regularly engaged in supporting operations during the many colonial conflicts which occurred throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
Undertaking these duties were new British-designed aircraft introduced to squadrons from the early-1950s. The names of these extraordinary aircraft, which included the Hunter, Lightning, Vulcan and Canberra, became synonymous with the Cold War.

In this book, Ian Proctor uses over 150 highly evocative colour images from a single remarkable Air Ministry collection to portray the RAF and its personnel between 1950 and 1970. He provides a selected insight into service life, the aircraft, recruitment and training, and the operations and exercises undertaken by the RAF during a twenty year period of the Cold War.

Author:Ian Proctor
Specs:192 pages, 24.5 x 19 cm / 9.7 x 7.5 in, paperback
Illustrations:150 colour photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2014)
Series:Images of War
EAN:9781783831890
Book: The Royal Air Force in the Cold War, 1950-1970 - Rare photographs from Wartime Archives (Images of War)

The Royal Air Force in the Cold War, 1950-1970 - Rare photographs from Wartime Archives

Language: English

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Britain's Cold War Fighters (hard cover)

This book explores the creation and development of the jet fighter, tracing the emergence of the first jet designs (the Meteor and Vampire) through to the first-generation jets which entered service with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.
Each aircraft type is examined, looking at how the design was created and how this translated into an operational aircraft. The basic development and service history of each type is also examined, with a narrative that links the linear appearance of each new design, leading to the present day and the latest generation of Typhoon aircraft.

Other aircraft types explored will include Hunter, Lightning, Phantom, Javelin and Tornado F2/3. A beautiful and comprehensive study of the UK's design and manufacture of its fighter programme from the end of the Second World War to present, "Britain's Cold War Fighters" is of much importance to aviation and military historians, modellers as well as those interested in the growing popularity of the Cold War.
Highly illustrated with many unpublished photos, interviews and eyewitness accounts.

Author:Tim McLelland
Specs:288 pages, 25 x 17 x 2.6 cm / 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.02 in, hardback
Illustrations:193 b&w and 66 colour photographs
Publisher:Fonthill Media (GB, 2013)
EAN:9781781551004
Book: Britain's Cold War Fighters (hard cover)

Britain's Cold War Fighters (hard cover)

Language: English

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Britain's Cold War Fighters (paperback)

Explores the creation and development of the jet fighter, tracing the emergence of the first jet designs (the Meteor and Vampire) through to the first-generation jets which entered service with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.

Each aircraft type is examined, looking at how the design was created and how this translated into an operational aircraft. The basic development and service history of each type is also examined, with a narrative that links the linear appearance of each new design, leading to the present day and the latest generation of Typhoon aircraft.
Other aircraft types explored will include Hunter, Lightning, Phantom, Javelin and Tornado F2/3.

A beautiful and comprehensive study of the UK's design and manufacture of its fighter programme from the end of the Second World War to present, "Britain's Cold War Fighters" is of much importance to aviation and military historians, modellers as well as those interested in the growing popularity of the Cold War.
Highly illustrated with many unpublished photos, interviews and eyewitness accounts.

Author:Tim McLelland
Specs:368 pages, 25 x 17.5 x 2.2 cm / 9.8 x 6.9 x 0.87 in, paperback
Illustrations:193 b&w and 63 colour photographs
Publisher:Fonthill Media (GB, 2017)
EAN:9781781556306
Book: Britain's Cold War Fighters (paperback)

Britain's Cold War Fighters (paperback)

Language: English

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British Jet Bombers Since 1949 (British Secret Projects 2)

Many bomber projects were drawn by British aircraft manufacturing companies in times of potential or actual combat. While names such as Canberra, Vulcan, Victor, TSR2, Harrier and Tornado are known to many as they made it into the skies, the fact that so many other projects from different companies remained on the drawing board provides a rich diversity of 'might-have-beens' ripe for coverage.

The author has researched extensively with particular emphasis on the design and development work that took place within various tender design competitions.
Many little-known projects are included that help to illustrate the way British bomber development changed against a backdrop of political upheaval, shrinking defence expenditure and technological advancement including supersonic flight, nuclear weapons and VTOL).

The story which starts with Britain's quest for a jet-powered Mosquito replacement concludes with reference to the next leap forward: FOAS, an unarmed bomber flown by pilots on the ground.
Accompanied by detailed appendices of all British post-war bomber projects and specifications, colour photographs and artwork.

Author:Tony Buttler
Specs:288 pages, 28.5 x 22 x 2.9 cm / 11.2 x 8.7 x 1.14 in, hardback
Illustrations:350+ photographs and drawings
Publisher:Crecy Publishing (GB, 2017)
EAN:9781910809105
Book: British Jet Bombers Since 1949 (British Secret Projects 2)

British Jet Bombers Since 1949 (British Secret Projects 2)

Language: English

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Britain's Cold War Bombers

Explores the creation and development of the jet bomber, tracing the emergence of the first jet designs (the Valiant and Vulcan) through to the first-generation jets, which entered service with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.
Each aircraft type is examined, looking at how the design was created and how this translated into an operational aircraft.

The basic development and service history of each type is explained, with a narrative that links the linear appearance of each new design, leading to the present day and the latest generation of Typhoon aircraft.
Other aircraft types covered are the Canberra, Sperrin, Victor, Scimitar, Buccaneer, Nimrod, Phantom, Sea Harrier, Jaguar, Tornado GR1/4 and Typhoon.

Author:Tim McLelland
Specs:368 pages, 25 x 17.5 x 2.5 cm / 9.8 x 6.9 x 0.98 in, paperback
Illustrations:193 b&w and 66 colour photographs
Publisher:Fonthill Media (GB, 2016)
EAN:9781781555347
Book: Britain's Cold War Bombers

Britain's Cold War Bombers

Language: English

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RAF V-Force Operations Manual 1955-69

The term 'V bomber' was used for RAF aircraft (Vickers Valiant, Handley Page Victor and Avro Vulcan) during the 1950s and 1960s that comprised the UK's strategic nuclear strike force known officially as the V-Force.
The V-Force reached its peak in June 1964, with 50 Valiants, 70 Vulcans and 39 Victors in service. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, RAF V-Force bombers were brought to readiness on 15-minute notice with the aircraft armed and crews ready beside them.

Pages of the book RAF V-Force Operations Manual 1955-69 (1)

The RAF's V-Force remained Britain's nuclear deterrent up 1969 when the strategic role was assumed by the Royal Navy with its Polaris nuclear submarines.
This book gives insights into the organisation, aircraft and weaponry of Britain's Cold War strategic nuclear strike force.

Pages of the book RAF V-Force Operations Manual 1955-69 (2)

Author:Andrew Brookes
Specs:192 pages, 27.5 x 21.5 x 1 cm / 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.39 in, hardback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Haynes Publishing (GB, 2015)
EAN:9780857337788
Book: RAF V-Force Operations Manual 1955-69

RAF V-Force Operations Manual 1955-69

Language: English

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V Bombers : Vulcan, Valiant and Victor (Flight Craft)

Britain's desire to stay at the leading edge in the design and development of modern jet powered aircraft was born in the later stages of the Second World War.
The Royal Air Force sent requests to the leading aircraft manufactures for a variety of specifications, amongst which was one for a long-range heavy bomber.
Three designs were accepted and eventually went into production - these became the V-Bomber Force. The Vickers Valiant, Vulcan and Victor saw prolific and varied service during the course of their careers.

This book contains fabulous colour profiles (created by Dave Windle) of all three types in different operational modes, configurations and colour schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference.
This enhanced and revised edition (the book was initially published in 2009) comes complete with model-making content as well as a host of brand new design features, making for a lively new addition to the esteemed Flight Craft series.

Author:Martin Bowman, Dave Windle
Specs:64 pages, 29.5 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 8.25 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2015)
Series:Flight Craft (7)
EAN:9781473834248
Book: V Bombers : Vulcan, Valiant and Victor (Flight Craft)

V Bombers : Vulcan, Valiant and Victor

Language: English

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UK Airfields of the Cold War

Phillip Birtles gives readers an airfield coverage of those in operation from the start of the Cold War during the Berlin Air Lift in the late 1940 to the end of the Cold War with the fall of the Berlin Wall at the end of the 1980s.

Descriptive text is complemented by almost 200 contemporary photographs, maps and airfield palns.

Author:Phillip Birtles
Specs:160 pages, 26 x 21 x 1.7 cm / 10.25 x 8.25 x 0.67 in, hardback
Illustrations:200+ b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Crecy Publishing (GB, 2012)
EAN:9781857803464
Book: UK Airfields of the Cold War

UK Airfields of the Cold War

Language: English

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British Fighters of the 1970s and '80s

Two of the RAF's most memorable aircraft are the English Electric Lightning and the McDonnell Phantom. The Lightning, which flew with nine RAF squadrons before being retired in 1988, is fondly remembered for is astonishing rate of climb, while the Phantom, which flew with three Royal Navy squadrons and 15 RAF squadrons, started out in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles but became more predominant in the tactical fighter role before being finally retired in 1992.

Illustrated with more than 180 photographs, this book covers in great detail the Lightning and Phantom fighter aircraft and the part they played in the latter stages of the Cold War.

Author:Chris Goss
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 17 x 1.1 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 x 0.43 in, paperback
Illustrations:180+ b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2022)
EAN:9781913870393
Book: British Fighters of the 1970s and '80s

British Fighters of the 1970s and '80s

Language: English

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British Bombers of the 1970s and '80s

The mainstays of the RAF's bomber force in the 1970s and 1980s were the distinctive Avro Vulcan and the rugged Blackburn Buccaneer, and both aircraft were very well regarded by those who flew or worked on them.
The Buccaneer, or 'Brick' as it was fondly known, came into service in 1962 and flew with just five RAF and six RN squadrons before being retired in 1994.
The Vulcan, or 'Tin Triangle', came into service in 1956 and was retired after the Falklands War in 1982 having flown operationally with nine RAF squadrons.

Illustrated with 180 photographs, this book, the second of a number of books of photographs covering British combat aircraft of the 1970s and 1980s, looks at the much-loved Buccaneer and Vulcan and the part they played in the latter stages of the Cold War.

Author:Chris Goss
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 17 x 1.3 cm / 9.7 x 6.7 x 0.51 in, paperback
Illustrations:180 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Key Publishing Ltd (GB, 2021)
EAN:9781913870935
Book: British Bombers of the 1970s and '80s

British Bombers of the 1970s and '80s

Language: English

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Last update:15-06-2024