I noticed that I had a few inches of spare shelf space last week, so ...

Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper. The Aeroplane in War. London: T. Werner Laurie, 1912. A big survey of military aviation before the First World War - keeping the reading public informed about such innovations as the 'engine-in-front biplane'. Grahame-White was the premier British flyer at this time.

Major Helders. The War in the Air 1936. London: John Hamilton, 1932. A future-war novel, this one from Germany (published under a pseudonym by Robert Knauss as Luftkrieg-1936). And conveniently for Germany, it's France and Britain who are bombing each other's cities, with Britain coming out on top. (Of course, it was also more plausible in that Germany had no air force.) Has a handy fold-out map section at the end, to help you follow the action!

Stephen King-Hall. Our Own Times, 1913-1938: A Political and Economic Survey. London: Nicholson and Watson, 1938. King-Hall was a former naval officer who by this time was a very popular commentator on current affairs, in print and on the wireless.

Bernard Newman. Armoured Doves: A Peace Book. London: Jarrolds, 1937 [1931]. I actually ordered this months ago but it never came, so I ordered another copy! Set in the 1950s and 1960s, the pacifist League of Scientists uses a death ray to impose peace on the world. There is a devastating air war between Poland and the USSR in the 1940s, involving the use of bacteriological weapons. George Lansbury sez, 'All who love peace and hate war will welcome this book'.

Scot Robertson. The Development of RAF Strategic Bombing Doctrine, 1919-1939. Westport and London: Praeger, 1995. I'm slowly acquiring all the standard secondary works in my area ... only a couple or five to go! This is one of the more recent ones; the sections on the RAF's annual air defence exercises in 1927-35 in particular look very interesting.

Arthur Salter. Security: Can We Retrieve It? London: Macmillan and Co., 1939. Salter had played an important role in organising shipping in the First World War, and in the 1920s was a respected figure at the League of Nations. By 1939 he had become a professor at Oxford, and also was the MP for that university. Part of this book deals with air raid precautions, and Salter gives some useful information about the Air Raid Defence League, of which he was a member along with people like Lord Allen and Leo Amery.

J.M. Spaight. Air Power in the Next War. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1938. Spaight had always been ambivalent about the knock-out blow, I think, and by now he is downright sceptical of the idea that the next war will be decided by airpower alone.

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