Helion's Airpower and the Arab World 1909-1955 Volume 9
|David Nicolle & Gabr Ali Gabr
|$29.95 MSRP from Casemate
70 pages, softcover
This volume covers pretty much the time from the end of WWII until the start of the Palestine War of 1948. It was a time of expansion and rebuilding for many of the nations in the area. Not surprising is that it was the British that seemed to hold all the cards in the area. If you had good relations with the UK, you got more modern weapons. If not, you did not. As Egypt did not have the best relations with the British, they were hard pressed to really improve their forces the way they wanted. None of this was helped by the rather fluid political situation in the country and the fact that the UK wanted Egypt to pay for the support they were given during the war. While Egypt still had a fairly large armed force, it was one that was using obsolescent equipment.
In other areas, Iraq was a nation that had a fairly minimal air force that was in great need of new equipment. Since they were on good terms with the British, they were able to purchase some fairly new equipment in the form of Hawker Fury fighters and were able to upgrade their training and transport sectors with some ease. Syria was in a similar situation, having practically no air force and a lack of capable people to fill the ranks. Other air arms that were either starting over or from scratch were those of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and Lebanon.
An impetus toward rearmament was increased hostilities in Palestine. Egypt was the major regional power in the area so any airborne operations in the area was carried out by them. The British were still in some control of the area, but were increasingly hampered by Zionist terrorists, that were requiring increased military presence to keep the peace. As usual, there was a lot of political intrigue going on behind the scenes, much of which had a direct impact of the air arms of the nations involved.
The authors have done a superb job researching all sides of the story. In fact, it is this as much as anything else that makes these Helion books so interesting to read. As usual, we are provided with some fine period photos as well as the usual selection of profiles and maps in the center of the book. You really need to add this entire series to your library. Well worth it.
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