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Osprey Men-at-Arms 225 : The Royal Air Force 1939-1945

During the middle years of the Second World War the Royal Air Force constituted the only section of the British armed forces in Europe which was routinely on the offensive. Its aircraft and operations have been voluminously dealt with by historians; but its uniform and flying clothing have received only moderate attention. Whereas service on the ground and in Europe and the tropics definitely required different clothing, this was not necessarily the case with airborne operations. The RAF did not therefore have a set of flying clothing for home service and another for Middle or Far East use. Naturally, aircrew operating during the day at low altitude in North Africa did not need to wear as much as those flying at high altitude at night over northern Europe. Nevertheless there was a surprising commonality of flying clothing across most operational roles, although certain items were more likely to be worn by some crews than others - heated clothing, for instance, was if not the exclusive preserve of Bomber Command, at least far more common in that force than elsewhere. Andrew Cormack explores the history of the uniforms of the RAF throughout the Second World War, accompanied by numerous contemporary photographs and eight full page colour plates by Ron Volstad.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Uniforms of the Royal Air Force
  • The Women's Auxiliary Air Force
  • Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service
  • The Allies
  • Flying Clothing
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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