Author(s): Peter Reese
Following the Armistice of 1918, the British Air Industry and the newly founded RAF held a low place in national priorities. The RAF was rapidly run down, with the infant airlines being given the least possible help, and this neglect continued during the 1920s. The RAF's role was questioned and civilian air travel remained a dream for most and the province of the well-heeled few. But the breakdown of the Geneva Disarmament Talks led to renewed interest in the National Air Force, and the rise of the European dictators brought calls for rapid modernisation and interceptor aircraft, together with the development of further European civilian air routes. Here, Peter Reese charts the dramatic changes that swept aviation across the dynamic interwar period, revealing the transformative last-minute preparations for defence in a world where much depended on the contributions of some outstanding individuals.