Attack Warning Red; The Royal Observer Corps and the Defence of Britain 1925 to 1975

London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1976. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Hardcover. Format is approximately 8 inches by 10.5 inches. xi, [1], 357, [3] pages. Footnotes. Illustrations. Maps. Appendix 1 through 9. Index. DJ has some wear and soiling. Derek Wood (1930 – 2 May 2003) was the author of Jane's World Aircraft Recognition Handbook. Wood was the editor of "Jane's" the publishers of a wide range of military handbooks and weekly defence newsletters until he retired in 1993. For more than 30 years, Derek was the doyen of aviation specialists in Fleet Street and enjoyed a reputation for unimpeachable integrity. He was renowned, not only for his expertise and keen intellect, but also for his steadfast refusal to compromise standards. A lifelong and keen aircraft spotter, Derek was a spare-time volunteer member of the Royal Observer Corps for nearly fifty years and wrote the history of the Corps in his 1975 book Attack Warning Red : The Royal Observer Corps and the Defence of Britain, 1925 to 1975. The Corps was stood down in 1995. Derek joined the Royal Observer Corps in 1947 and served on posts near Chichester, London, and at Cuckfield (north of Brighton) after moving there in the 1960s. As a journalist and aerospace expert he did his utmost to further the Corps' standing in both military and civil areas. Derek Wood came into prominence as an author when his book The Narrow Margin, regarded as the definitive history of the Battle of Britain, was published. The book is used by military historians and lecturers to this day. Others of his books include Project Cancelled, an account of Britain's abandoned aircraft projects, and Jane's World Aircraft Recognition Handbook. The Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was a civil defence organization intended for the visual detection, identification, tracking and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain. It operated in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps' civilian volunteers were stood down (ROC headquarters staff at RAF Bentley Priory stood down on 31 March 1996). Composed mainly of civilian spare-time volunteers, ROC personnel wore a Royal Air Force (RAF) style uniform and latterly came under the administrative control of RAF Strike Command and the operational control of the Home Office. Civilian volunteers were trained and administered by a small cadre of professional full-time officers under the command of the Commandant Royal Observer Corps; latterly a serving RAF Air Commodore. In 1925, following a Defence Committee initiative undertaken the previous year, the formation of an RAF command concerning the Air Defence of Great Britain led to the provision of a Raid Reporting System, itself delegated to a sub-committee consisting of representatives from the Air Ministry, Home Office and the General Post Office. This Raid Reporting System was to provide for the visual detection, identification, tracking and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain, and was eventually to become known as the Observer Corps. The Observer Corps was subsequently awarded the title Royal by His Majesty King George VI in April 1941, in recognition of service carried out by Observer Corps personnel during the Battle of Britain. Throughout the remainder of the Second World War, the ROC continued to complement and at times replace the Chain Home defensive radar system by undertaking an inland aircraft tracking and reporting function, while Chain Home provided a predominantly coastal, long-range tracking and reporting system. The British Chain Home radar defence system was able to warn of enemy aircraft approaching the British coast, but once having crossed the coastline the Observer Corps provided the only means of tracking their position. During the period from July to October 1940, the Observer Corps was at full stretch operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, plotting enemy aircraft and passing this essential information to RAF Fighter Command Groups and Sector Controls. With the advent of the Cold War, the ROC continued in its primary role of aircraft recognition and reporting, and in 1955 was allocated the additional task of detecting and reporting nuclear explosions and associated fall-out. By 1965, thanks to advances in (radar) technology, most roles and responsibilities relating to aircraft had been withdrawn and the ROC assumed the role of field force for the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organization (UKWMO); a role which the ROC continued until the early 1990s and the cessation of the Cold War. This wonderful unit history chronicles the first 50 years of this remarkable, and remarkably effective, organization. Condition: Very good / Good.

Keywords: Royal Observer Corps, Aircraft Recognition, Civil Defense, Civil Defence, Battle of Britain, Blitz, Flying Bombs, Air Raid Warning, Graham Donald, Warrington Morris

ISBN: 0356084116

[Book #85666]

Price: $175.00

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