Inter- and Intra-Theatre Learning and British Coastal Air Power in the Second World War

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Abstract

Historians have not yet attempted to integrate the global nature of Britain’s war with the process and outcome of military learning, and British approaches are generally presented as being compartmentalised within each theatre. This article demonstrates that in the crucial field of coastal air power, while intra-theatre learning processes were important, the British were indeed capable of inter-theatre learning. A symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship evolved between the Home and Mediterranean theatres that contributed positively to its development. However, they failed to create a similar arrangement for the Indian Ocean, which could only act as a receptor for externally created knowledge.

Cognisance of these inter-theatre links helps us to understand the cause of Britain’s vital success in the maritime environment, which was utterly essential to Allied victory in the Second World War. It also offers a wider insight into British approaches to learning during the war.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWar in History
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 May 2017

Keywords

  • Learning
  • Air power
  • Second World War
  • World War, 1939-1945

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