The Air Defence of Great Britain, 1920-1940: An Operational Research Perspective

This paper analyses the introduction of operational research into the RAF in the period to 1940 with particular reference to the invention and innovation of radar. It explains how and why civilian scientists came to play a central role in planning and implementing the Air Defence of Great Britain. T...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol. 48, No. 6 (1997), p. 555-568
Main Author: Kirby, M.
Other Involved Persons: Capey, R.
Format: electronic Article
Language:English
ISSN:1476-9360
Item Description:Copyright: Copyright 1997 Operational Research Society Ltd
Physical Description:Online-Ressource
DOI:10.2307/3010219
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  • This paper analyses the introduction of operational research into the RAF in the period to 1940 with particular reference to the invention and innovation of radar. It explains how and why civilian scientists came to play a central role in planning and implementing the Air Defence of Great Britain. The paper also considers why the RAF's scientific effort after 1935 was concentrated on techniques of fighter interception to the neglect of the offensive capability of the emergent bomber strike force. The paper also assesses the contribution of operational research to the outcome of the Battle of Britain. It concludes with a commentary on the diffusion of operational research to other military commands after 1940.