Trenchard Father Of The Royal Air Force

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Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school and was greatly affected by his solicitor-father’s bankruptcy when he was 16. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, but he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912. Although he was an indifferent pilot, he was quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflict. His rapid rise to commander of the RFC in France after the outbreak of the First World War was marked by a series of bitter disagreements with other senior officers he either didn’t like or didn’t trust. Through persistence and hard work he led his political masters by the nose to secure the future of the RAF as an independent force after the war, in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admirality and the War Office, and eventually became the first Marshal of the Royal Air Force.

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Description

‘A magnetic and colourful portrait’ Daily Telegraph

Hugh ‘Boom’ Trenchard was embarrassed by being described as ‘The Father of the Royal Air Force’ – he thought others were more deserving. But the reality was that no man did more to establish the world’s first independent air force and ensure its survival in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admiralty and the War Office.

Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school, not helped by the shame of his solicitor father’s bankruptcy when he was sixteen. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, eventually obtaining a commission through the ‘back door’ of the militia. After service in India, South Africa – where he was seriously wounded – and Nigeria, he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912, where he was soon known as ‘Boom’ thanks to his stentorian voice.

Quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflicts, he rose rapidly to command the RFC in France during the First World War despite handicaps that would have blighted conventional military careers: he was obstinate, tactless, inarticulate and chronically unable to remember names – yet he was able to inspire unflagging loyalty among all ranks.

Despite his conspicuous distrust of politicians, he served as a successful Chief of the Air Staff for a decade after the war and then, at the personal request of the King, took over as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, which he reorganised and reformed. He never wavered in his belief that mastery of the air could only be achieved by relentless offensive action, or in his determined advocacy of strategic bombing. His most enduring legacy was the creation of the finest air force in the world, engendered with the spirit that won the Battle of Britain.

Additional information

Weight 0.338 kg
Dimensions 19.9 × 14.1 × 2.7 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

xiv, 402 , 16 unnumbered of plates

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

358.40092 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K