Air Power and the Arab World, 1909-1955

Volume 5 - World in Crisis, 1936-1941

David Nicolle, Air Vice Marshal Gabr Ali Gabr

The years leading up to the Second World War and into its early years saw the Arab countries and their military forces buffeted by forces far beyond their control. Nevertheless, Arab countries which had some independence or autonomy attempted to strengthen their small air forces.
Date Published :
January 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Middle East@War
Illustration :
118 b/w photos, 8pp color plates, 21 color profiles, 1 map
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914377235
Pages : 80
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Available


The years immediately prior to the outbreak of the Second World War saw the earliest and the more recently established Arab Air Forces attempting to play a role on the regional if not yet on the world stage for the first time. It was a period when those Arab states which had real or merely theoretical independence were more or less allied with European countries that were gearing up to face the growing Fascist and Nazi threats. Unfortunately, these anti-Fascist and anti-Nazi countries were themselves the imperial powers, France and the United Kingdom, which were still seeking to maintain their domination of the greater part of the Arab World. To say that this complicated the situation, and strained the loyalties of the men of the newly emergent Arab air forces would be an understatement.

Volume 5 of the Air Power and the Arab World series therefore seeks to shed light on a difficult and widely misunderstood time. It draws upon decades of research, including previously unpublished interviews with men now dead, archive sources than have never before been translated into a European language, and material which, though available in obscure Arabic publications, has been almost entirely neglected by aviation historians. Dr. David Nicolle especially wishes to acknowledge the contribution of his late colleague, Air Vice Marshal Dr. Gabr Ali Gabr, without whose scholarly research and publications this series would never have got off the ground, let alone been published.

This volume is richly illustrated with specially commissioned color artworks illustrating the aircraft flown by the air forces in the Arab world during this dynamic period of time.

About The Author

David Nicolle is a leading expert on the history of medieval warfare, in particular the Crusades and Middle Eastern warfare, and he is a prolific writer of books on these subjects as well as articles and magazine articles.

Among his many previous works are The Hundred Years War; The Mongol Warlords;Saladin and the Saracens; The Crusades; The Medieval Warfare Sourcebook; Hattin 1187 and Fighting for the Faith.

Late Air Vice Marshal Gabr Ali Gabr PhD (EAF, ret.) served as the pilot of a De Havilland Vampire fighter jet during the Suez War, 1956. After concluding higher military education at the Air Warfare Institute in 1960, he served as an instructor in air tactics at the Air Warfare Institute in 1962-64. Between 1966-67, he was a staff officer during the June 1967 War and went on to be chief of the Operational Training Branch in 1968-73; he was also chief of of the Operations Group during the October 1973 War with Israel. After serving as an instructor in the art of operations and as the chief air force chair at High War College from 1977 until 1982, he received his PhD at Nasser High Academy in 1989. He then moved into writing and has since published seven books and dozens of studies and articles on the history of air warfare in Egypt and abroad.


"Complementing the text is an exceptional collection of photographs, many of them from the authors’ personal collections."

- Air & Space Power History

"The behind-the-scenes power struggles in a Middle Eastern version of the Great Game is quite fascinating."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"...will be of great interest to aircraft modelers and aviation historians alike."

- AMPS Indianapolis

"...a nice addition to what is becoming a great series. Very much worth picking up."

- ModelingMadness.Com

"The lavishly illustrated effort sports dozens of rare photos. Maps put commentary into geographic perspective."

- Cybermodeler

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