The Bridge to Airpower

Logistics Support for Royal Flying Corps Operations on the Western Front, 1914–18
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Binding:Hardback
Published:September 15, 2015
By Peter Dye (Author)

In the latest addition to the History of Military Aviation series, Peter Dye describes how the development of the air weapon on the Western Front during World War I required a radical and unprecedented change in the way that national resources were employed to exploit a technological opportunity. World War I has long been recognized as an industrial war that consumed vast amounts of materiel and where logistical superiority gave the Allies an overwhelming advantage. In the latest addition to the History of Military Aviation series, Peter Dye describes how the development of the air weapon on the Western Front during World War I required a radical and unprecedented change in the way that national resources were employed to exploit a technological opportunity. World War I has long been recognized as an industrial war that consumed vast amounts of materiel and where logistical superiority gave the Allies an overwhelming advantage. The Bridge to Air Power is the first study that demonstrates how logistical competence provided a war-winning advantage for the Royal Flying Corps, the precursor to the Royal Air Force. It draws on a wide range of literature and original material to quantify these achievements while providing a series of illuminating case studies based around key battles. In particular, it highlights how the Royal Flying Corps’ logistical organization was able to maintain high levels of resilience and agility while sustaining military outputs under widely different operational conditions —successfully introducing many of the techniques that now comprise modern supply chain management.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Aviation
  • Hardback : 304 pages
  • Illustrations: 15 b/w photos; 20 b/w figures; 1 map
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (September 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1612518397
  • ISBN-13: 9781612518398
  • Product Dimensions: 6.125 X 9.25 in
  • Shipping Weight: 22.88 oz
Praise
  • “Peter Dye, a former-two-star logistician with the Royal Air Force, has produced an innovative and original study of the logistics infrastructure that supported Royal Flying Corps (RFC) operations on the Western Front during the First World War…. [I]t is worth mentioning the production quality of Bridge to Airpower, which is excellent, it’s extremely reasonable price and the range photographs from the RAF Museum’s extensive (and underutilized) archive. Dye has made an important contribution to the history and historiography of British air power in the First World War, and the history and historiography of logistics more generally. It is a study I recommend most strongly.” —The Society for Army Historical Research
  • The Bridge to Airpower: Logistics Support for Royal Flying Corps Operations on the Western Front, 1914-18 is recommended highly; it is a ‘must-have’ for serious students of World War I history.”—Over the Front
  • “…a must-have resource for the serious student of airpower on the Western Front, anyone interested in the development of warplanes and aero-engines, and those scholars and military officers concerned with the logistics of airpower.”—Air Power History
  • "The achievement of the RFC logistic system was massive and, even allowing for a degree of professional pride on the part of the author of The Bridge to Airpower, can only be so regarded. From a standing start in 1914, resilient, responsive, innovative systems evolved to sustain an ever-expanding force in the face of high but variable wastage, erratic supply and rapid technological change. This book does full justice to that amazing achievement – and I am enlightened and amazed!"—RAF Historic Society Journal 62
  • “…Presented with an expert grasp of both the sources and issues, Peter Dye’s work shows how the RFC and, later, the RAF maintained an effective supply chain during four years of conflict…” – The Western Front Association Stand To!

Peter Dye is a graduate of Imperial College and Birmingham University. He served in the Royal Air Force for over 35 years and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his work in support of the Jaguar Force during the First Gulf War, retiring as an Air Vice-Marshal. He was appointed Director General of the Royal Air Force Museum in 2008, before retiring six years later to concentrate on lecturing, research and writing on airpower topics. He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.

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24 April - Speaker
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15 October - Book Launch and Reception
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