Preston-Hough, Peter Norman (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-04)
The conflict in the Far East between 1941 and 1945 is occasionally referred to as the “Forgotten War” in Britain and this description extends to the way the campaign’s air war has been analysed. However, the role of air power in Burma was vitally important to the campaign, in particular the attainment of air superiority in order to facilitate supply and close support operations. The foundation of these operations was dependent on the Allies achieving and maintaining air superiority and latterly air supremacy over the Japanese. This thesis will analyse how the Allies lost air superiority during the initial exchanges, and then how technical and material difficulties were overcome before air superiority was won in 1944 and air supremacy was gained in 1945. It will analyse the importance of the RAF’s tactics, early warning systems, equipment, training and counter-air offensive in the theatre between 1941 and 1945. Furthermore, the thesis will demonstrate how Japanese industry, their war in the Pacific, and their use of air power in Burma ultimately affected the air war’s eventual outcome. The study will examine current historiography to question and corroborate existing views, as well as to reveal new information not previously published.
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