‘The bomber will always get through’ gets through

... to a wider audience! A few weeks back, I received an email from Robert Dudney, editor in chief of Air Force Magazine (published by the Air Force Association -- that's US Air Force, not Royal) seeking permission to reprint the text of Stanley Baldwin's 'the bomber will always get through' speech, which I'd posted here last year. It wasn't necessary for him to do so, since I don't own the words, nor was it necessary for him to give me credit for them, nor to send me complimentary copies of the July 2008 issue in which they appeared. But it was very courteous of him to do all of these things, so here's a plug in return.

Baldwin's speech appears as part of a regular series called The Keeper File, which excerpts various primary source texts important to the history of airpower. (They've put the whole thing online too.) There's an introductory paragraph, which quite rightly observes that 'Few famous speeches have been more misunderstood than that by Stanley Baldwin [...]', and goes on to explain its significance. Bravo, I say!

There's plenty of interest in the rest of the magazine, including: an update on the F-35 JSF programme, which will likely be equipping the RAF, RN and RAAF for decades to come (it's on schedule and under budget, apparently); Phillip Meilinger on the importance of airpower in counterinsurgency operations (which appears to be based on the talk he gave at Cranwell last year); the Allied bombing of Berlin in 1940-5; and Walter Boyne on the USAF's forgetting and relearning how to do electronic monitoring and control of the combat space over Vietnam. Overall, it's a useful insight into what the world's greatest air force is up to these days.

Bonus! Since I don't talk about the USAF much, here's a link which peacay sent me ages ago: the US Air Force History Index. This is a searchable index to 550,000 documents (out of 70 million, but you've got to start somewhere [correction: it's been pointed out to me that that's 70 million pages, not documents. The 550,000 documents indexed represent nearly all AFHRA documents for the period covered]) held by the Air Force Historical Research Agency, covering the period up to 2001. Not the documents themselves, just descriptions of them. Wish there was something like this for the PRO ...

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