In recent years, an emerging body of scholarship has developed our understanding of the complexity and significance of the war the Royal Air Force and its antecedents fought during the First World War. Nonetheless much remains to be written on the subject of the development of Britain’s air arms, as well as those of the settler societies across the British world. As such, the aim of this proposed edited collection is to bring together the research of scholars working in this field to explore, to identify and analyse the factors that shaped military and naval aviation in the British Empire from its origins to the early 1920s. The book is also concerned with evaluating the contribution that British air power made during the First World War and the foundation that this provided the Royal Air Force and its Dominion counterparts.

The essays included will reflect recent and original research by scholars working in the fields of military, social and cultural history, as well as defence and strategic studies. In considering the subject from a diverse range of perspectives, including operational, organisational, cultural, and political, this book will form a comprehensive survey of the topic – something not attempted in any other single volume – and will remain, for some time, the standard work on British air power during its formative years.

Proposed chapters are invited from those working in areas related to the study of British air power in the First World War. In addition to established academics, the editors seek proposals from postgraduate students, early career scholars and those with professional experience. Proposals must be submitted to the editors by 31 July 2016 with a 300-word abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae.


Dr Ross Mahoney

Dr Michael Molkentin

About the Editors

Ross Mahoney ( is the resident Aviation Historian at Royal Air Force Museum. He holds a Ph.D. and MPhil in Modern History from the University of Birmingham as well as a PGCE and BA from the University of Wolverhampton. He is currently writing a social and cultural history of the RAF’s officer class from 1918 to 1939 as well as researching the history of command and staff training in the Service. He is a historian of warfare in the twentieth century with particular research interests in air power and aviation history, leadership, command and morale, military culture and the history of professional military education.

Michael Molkentin ( is an adjunct lecturer at the University of New South Wales and a teacher at Shellharbour Anglican College. He has a first class Honours degree from the University of Wollongong and a Ph.D. in History from the University of New South Wales. In 2014, the Australian War Memorial awarded Michael’s doctoral research the Bryan Gandevia Prize for Australian Military History. He specialises in the history of armed conflict with an emphasis on warfare in the British world and the development of air power. Michael has written three books, the most recent being Australia and the War in the Air (OUP, 2014).



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