Tuesday, 02 March 2021
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

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General Martel

Anybody who still persists in believing that history does not repeat itself simply has not read enough of it, or thought remotely laterally about what they have just read, believes Francis Tusa, the editor of Defence Analysis.

At a time when all three of the Services in the UK are gearing up for SDSR 2015, and when industry is watching the process apprehensively, it is fascinating to read about a time when at least some of the UK Services not only fought wars (and rather successfully), but also managed to do so with a very strong partnership with industry.

The Service in question in particular was Anti-Aircraft Command in the Second World War, a command which, whilst technically in the Royal Artillery, was commanded from 1939-1945 by General Sir Frederick ("Tim") Pile (a Royal Tank Regiment officer), and came directly under command of RAF Fighter Command. To put it into perspective, Anti-Aircraft Command numbered over 250,000 personnel, manning an array of fixed and more mobile heavy artillery sites. It reached its zenith in 1944 when, in an astonishing display of operational mobility, a massive and near-overnight redeployment created an entirely new anti-aircraft gun belt along the English coast to counter the new threat from V-1 flying bombs - no mean feat when one looks at what was involved with this...

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