[Cross posted from the RAF Museum]

Sebastian Cox, Head of the Air Historical Branch, will discuss Tedder, Intelligence and Operation CRUSADER in the RAF Museum’s next Trenchard Lecture in Air Power Studies.


The use and dissemination of intelligence assessments is central to the planning military operations; however, these assessments can become distorted by questions of politics. In this talk, Sebastian Cox will discuss the influence of politics on the intelligence cycle concerning a relatively straightforward intelligence assessment produced by Air Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder on the eve of Operation CRUSADER in late-1941. Tedder’s assessment of relative air strengths caused alarm in both the Australian and New Zealand capitals, where the Governments had been scarred by the recent defeats in Greece and Crete and had an exaggerated fear of the Luftwaffe. This apparently straightforward assessment therefore stirred up a political hornet’s nest involving the Prime Ministers of all three countries and nearly cost Tedder his job. Some astute political manoeuvring on the part of senior RAF Officers in London saved Tedder.


Please note that this lecture will be held at the Headquarters of the Royal Aeronautical Society at No. 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ at 18:00PM on Thursday 21 May 2015.


This lecture is free of charge however: we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket, as seats are limited. Booking is quick and easy, we just need some basic contact information.



Sebastian Cox is Head of the Air Historical Branch (RAF). He is a graduate of Warwick University and King’s College London. He was Curator of Documents at the Royal Air Force Museum before joining the Air Historical Branch as a researcher in 1984. He was appointed as Head of the Branch in 1996. He has written widely on the history of the RAF and air power, edited two book series related to the subject and has lectured on the subject to military and civilian audiences on three continents. He is a Director of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Military History, and a member of the Royal Air Force Museum’s Research Board.


The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2015. This programme also consists of the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures and other events such as conferences. More details can be found in our leaflet, which can be downloaded here.

For more details about the RAF Museum’s research programme, please email me at ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org

The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies are held in conjunction with the Royal Aeronautical Society and the War Studies Department at the University of Wolverhampton.


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