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Lloyd George and the Royal Air Force

April 1, 2008 3:05 PM

Bi-planeLloyd George gets a couple of mentions in recent newspaper articles concerning the anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918. L-G had become prime minister in December 1916 but he had previously been an unstoppable force as Minister of Munitions. He was always enthusiastic about new weapons and innovative types of warfare - not for their own sake but as necessary instruments for the successful prosecution of the Great War and the momentum they could give towards an Allied victory.

In an article in the Daily Mirror, in which Henry Allingham (now aged 111 years!) a founder member of the RAF who previously served in the Royal Naval Air Service looks back on the formation of the new service, L-G is quoted as saying "Every time the Germans raid London, British airmen must blot out a German town." It is a harsh assessment if true but in war, victory at all costs is usually the goal to be pursued and public opinion must have been sympathetic to vengeance as the war was entering its fourth year and British casualties became ever more monumental .

You can read the Mirror article at:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2008/04/01/founder-member-henry-allingham-on-the-raf-at-90-89520-20369232/

In an article in the Daily Telegraph, Allan Mallison looks back at the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service to create the RAF and recalls the opposing views of the RAF's first chief, "Boom" Trenchard who thought the new service was undesirable and Lloyd George who was convinced a separate service would defend the skies better. Indeed LG described the RAF as "the cavalry of the clouds".

To read the Daily Telegraph article go to:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/index.jhtml and follow the link to the story Does Britain want an independent RAF?