The RAF in Cold War Germany

Ian Smith Watson

With the end of the Second World War Britain needed time to recover; it could not face another war, but the new threat of Soviet hegemony put paid to that. The next battle lines were drawn. To counter the Russian threat, for more than 40 years, Britain's RAF, along with their US counterpart, permanently station a Tactical Air Force in West Germany.
Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
71 color photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781558423
Pages : 284
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7.02 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


In May 1945 with the war in Europe at an end, Britain had to play her part in the occupation of the defeated Germany. The near-bankrupt country was hard-pressed to maintain such a military presence on the continent and still manage our other out commitments across the Mediterranean, Middle and Far East. As the immediate post-war years came to pass, Britain and other western powers found themselves reviewing their relationship with the key victor in the east: the USSR. A defining moment came in 1948 when the Soviet Union attempted to starve the people of West Berlin to the point of being relinquished to their fate by the Western allies. Following a sterling and stubborn effort to keep the city supplied with the minimum materials and food the Soviet exercise ended in 1949. But the parameters were now set, the Iron Curtain had descended across the continent, and the RAF were to maintain a constant vigil with nuclear-armed aircraft on station ready to respond to Soviet aggression for the next four decades while politicians tried desperately to preserve the peace.

About The Author

Ian Smith Watson was born in Irvine, Ayrhire, in 1960. He grew up in Scotland and Yorkshire and attended Shelley High School in Huddersfield before joining the RAF as a radar operator in 1977 until 1990. He later worked in Saudi Arabia, contracted to the Royal Saudi Air Force through the GENA (Ground Environment Navigational Aids) program. Watson has written four previous books: The RAF at Home for Pen & Sword and Fading Eagle, Northern ‘Q’: The History of RAF Leuchars, and History of the Gloster Javelin: The First All-Weather British Fighter with Fonthill Media.


Acknowledgements; Preface; Introduction; Prologue, Third Reich Collapse & Red Star Ascent; Germany Defeated; Post War Settlement; Cold War Development; Nuclear Option; 1957-1963 re-structure; Canberra Question (TSR2 and F-111 Cancellations); 1970s and Flexible Response; The Tornado Arrives; Down with the Wall; Options for Change; Epilogue: Memories; Appendix I: RAF Order of Battle in 2nd Tactical Air Force as of 1 April 1957; Appendix II: Royal Air Force Germany order of Battle as of November 1989; Glossary

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