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British Aviation: Ominous Skies 1935-1939

British Aviation: Ominous Skies 1935-1939

Ref: 4935

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{detailed description}Ominous Skies is the fifth volume of Harald Penrose's monumental history of British Aviation. It has all the ingredients of the previous volumes which make the series among the most important histories of aviation ever written. This volume deals with the years 1935-1939.
These were the years when nations talked of peace and prepared for war. The desire to avenge defeat in the first World War motivated the revival of German economic strength and national pride, manifested in a new and dangerous militarism. The vainglorious attempt to re-create an empire resembling that of ancient Rome led the Italians into aggression against Abyssinia and later in Spain. The Japanese presumed to overcome the great people of China from whom they had derived most of their civilization. All these disturbers of the peace backed their aggressive policies with massive air attack potential.
For a long time — almost too long — the British Government refused to recognise the danger signals and when at last it did, the re-armament was woefully inadequate. The aviation industry, whose giants were fully aware of the dangers, was hampered by the cautious and sometimes devious policies pursued by Ministerial departments responsible for developing aviation in both civil and military roles.
Those were the currents underlying this period of intensive engine development, aero companies competing with each other in successfully designing and flying many brilliant new aircraft types, and world record-breakers achieving hitherto impossible speeds, height, and distances. It was the age of Spitfire, Hurricane, Wellington, the great flying boats and many fine civil aircraft.
The story is taken up to the outbreak of the Second World War, and once more it is told in the inimitably fast, detailed, exciting and frequently dramatic style of Harald Penrose who was there, who knew the participants, whether giants or ordinary mortals, and who himself played a key role in the development of a great industry that was soon to be geared solely to manufacturing the machines of war needed to overcome the aggressors.
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Harald Penrose
published by HMSO and RAF Museum 1980 1st edn. 318pp illustrated, index 14x22
{condition}near fine in spine-faded d/j
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