Well I am almost at that time. In actual fact I am about two and a half weeks away from when I need to submit even though I still need to finish the conclusion. This isn’t as bad as it seems as I finish work on Friday so I have got time to get it done. 

It has been a very enjoyable experience that I intend to continue when I look to start my PhD very soon. My students are often amazed when I talk about writing 40,000 words but as I try to explain to them it is not that hard. Actual the real problem is trying to stay within the word limit. I have been re-drafting my chapters and I have found that I have just had to cut out section and references them in footnotes in an attempt to make my examiners aware that I know that these issues exist.

I have also been having to decide on a title for the thesis. Initially my proposal was entitled ‘The RAF and the Raid on Dieppe: A Reappraisal?’ However, as time has gone on and research has taken me in certain directions the feel of the thesis has changed to one that also deals with air power and Combined Operations doctrine. I felt that this needed to the reflected in the title. These were the titles I came up with:

  1. The Royal Air Force and the Raid on Dieppe, 19 August 1942: A Reappraisal
  2. Air Power and Operation JUBILEE, the Raid on Dieppe, 19 August 1942: A Reappraisal
  3. Air Power, Combined Operations (Doctrine) and Operations JUBILEE, the Raid on Dieppe, 19 August 1942
  4. The Effectiveness of Air Power at Dieppe, Operation JUBILEE, 19 August 1942

Each one had its merits but in the end I have picked 3 but taken Doctrine out of the brackets. I feel this nicely sums up what I have been examining as I have attempted to look at the effectiveness of the RAF from a doctrinal perspective. I have used a linear models of effectiveness for the thesis do this needed to be represented in the title. I think it works. Does anyone think different.

As I say I have been working hard to finish this and I have been doing lots of the fiddly bits to the format. One thing I have prepared is the contents. This is how the thesis is laid out with the key areas that have been discussed:

  1. Introduction
  2. Air Power and Combined Operations Doctrine from 1914 to the Second World War
    1. Lessons of the First World War
    2. The Royal Air Force and the Problems of the Inter-War Years
    3. The Role of the Staff Colleges and Combined Operations Exercises
    4. Writing the Manual of Combined Operations and the Inter-Service Training and Development Centre
    5. Synopsis
  3. The RAF, the Battle for Air Superiority and Planning Operation JUBILEE
    1. The Battle for Air Superiority, 1940-1942
    2. Training for Combined Operations
    3. Planning the Raid
    4. Synopsis
  4. Operational Analysis of Operation JUBILEE and ‘Lessons Learnt’
    1. Contemporary Qualitative Analysis of Air Power at Dieppe
    2. Quantitative Analysis of Air Power at Dieppe
    3. Raiding as an Intruder Strategy, 1942-1943
    4. Command and Control of Air Power during Combined Operations
    5. The Graham Report and Aerial Bombardment
    6. Synopsis
  5. Conclusion

The next part once I have finished and done my Viva is to look at what I can condense cut out and re-write for publication. I am toying with the idea of expanding the work to include area that time and length precluded me from examining. There is also a lot of narrative that was excluded that could be included to beef it out so who know.

Finally tank you to everyone that has read this blog and made comments of draft sections. Your contributions have been invaluable.


6 thoughts on “Submitting my Thesis

  1. Looks like you have a solid thesis. Two years after completing my MA, I’m still working on making my thesis publishable. Good luck with the defense!

  2. Cheers Robert. I’m quite lucky with who I have got for examiners as I know both the internal and external examiners. Though it will be an interesting experience and I am not quite sure what to expect.

  3. You are definitely lucky. I found it helpful to be to ready for questions not necessarily related to your research. Responses such as “great idea, I will look into that during future research” are often useful last lines of defense.

  4. Cheers Guys.

    Anyone got a crib sheet for easy Viva replies that convince the examiners you know what you are talking about;)

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