Eagles of Destiny

Volume 1: Birth and Growth of the Royal Pakistan Air Force 1947-1956

Usman Shabbir, Yawar Mazhar

From inception PAF was in the thick of things supporting ground troops in Kashmir, and later, two major wars ensued against India. This book covers the early years of Royal Pakistan Air Force, led by seconded Royal Air Force personnel, through to being led by Pakistani officers and based on the American approach to air operations.
Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
68 b/w photos, 21 color profiles, 2 maps, 1 diagram, 10 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914377037
Pages : 76
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Available


To say that the Pakistan Air Force has an eventful history would not be an overstatement. From its very inception it was involved in the support of ground troops in Kashmir while trying to stand on its own feet in the immediate aftermath of the partition of British India. Two major wars ensued in which it performed well against the numerically superior Indian Air Force.

The Eagles of Destiny mini-series covers the early years of Royal Pakistan Air Force, initially while still being led by seconded Royal Air Force personnel and operating under a British model, through to being led by Pakistani officers and its transformation into a first-rate tactical force based on the American approach to air operations. The acquisition of assets under British leadership and later via the American Mutual Defence Assistance Program are examined in depth as are the resulting changes in operational concepts. The major wars with India during 1965 and 1971 are also covered in detail, including the intervening period, where an American arms embargo brought in drastic changes and a flare for improvisation.

The Eagles of Destiny mini-series is based on extensive research conducted over more than 20 years, including interviewing a large number of officers, many of whom shaped the events along with access to numerous British, American and Pakistani archives.

Eagles of Destiny Volume 1 tells the story of Pakistan Air Force up to 1956, and is illustrated by dozens of unique photographs, some never published before, along with specially commissioned maps and color artworks.

About The Author

Usman Shabbir was born in Pakistan in 1978 and after his early schooling at Lawrence College, completed his engineering education from IT University of Denmark. He is an avid aviation enthusiast with his primary focus on Asian air forces. He has contributed to numerous aviation publications over the years. Currently, he resides in Copenhagen, working for Deloitte as Manager.

Yawar Mazhar was born in Pakistan and has worked in the corporate sector for all of his professional life. Military aviation and especially the history of the Pakistan Air Force has been a passion for him all through his life. Over years he has collected information on PAF's history and developments and in the process has met and interviewed dozens of PAF officers, most of whom were a key part of important developments of PAF. A fortunate introduction to Usman allowed both of them to start collaborating actively which led to earlier articles on PAF. His other interests include philosophy, history and Urdu poetry.


"This is a neat photo album of Pakistani Air Force aircraft."

- AMPS Indianapolis

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