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Royal Air Force

This detailed survey, written by a former RAF officer, examines the history of the Royal Air Forces's operations within West Germany, beginning with the end of the Second World War, when the British Air Forces of Occupation were established, in July 1945. The narrative follows the tense days of the Berlin Airlift and the establishment of NATO. The tripwire strategy which NATO pursued placed Germany firmly in the frontline through its Forward Defence policy. These were the heady days when Canberras, Hunters and Javelins were in front line service to meet the potential foe. As crisis followed upon crisis - Gary Powers and his downed U-2, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the RAF looked to a new generation of aircraft with which to meet the threat; Buccaneers, Harriers, Jaguars and Phantoms. The 1970s and 1980s saw the situation changing as Tornados joined the RAF's armoury. Following the political changes of the 1990s, it was ordained that an RAF presence in Germany was no longer necessary and RAF operations in Germany came to an end. This wide ranging study of a hitherto thinly documented area of RAF history also provides a detailed valediction of its exploits in this theatre.
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