Ongoing Projects

Ok, having updated the site, I feel I need to post more regularly, so, all being well, expect some more ramblings from me. I thought I would start with an update on various projects. First, I have just finished a chapter on air power at Gallipoli that should appear in early 2018. The role of … Continue reading Ongoing Projects

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What Value Writing?

I have just started working on an aspect of one of my next major research projects, which is about the culture, ethos and ethics of the Royal Australian Air Force. Specifically, I have started mapping the contributions that RAAF personnel have made to the Australian Defence Force Journal since its establishment in 1976. In short, … Continue reading What Value Writing?

Research Note – Air Power and the Challenge of Professional Military Education

Here is a piece on ‘Air Power and the Challenge of Professional Military Education’ that are based on my recent attendance at a conference at the Royal Military College of Canada on the theme of the ‘Education of an Air Force.’ This post can also be found at The Central Blue, the blog of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation in Australia.

From Balloons to Drones

By Ross Mahoney

I have just come back from a conference at the Royal Military College of Canada on the theme of the ‘Education of an Air Force’ that was well worth the visit. I am sure most readers will agree that the subject of education is of vital importance and this is something that has been increasingly realised in recent years as modern air forces seek to grapple with the challenges that confront them in the operational sphere.

Ideas such as conceptual innovation have become catchphrases for efforts such as the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Thinking to Win programme, the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Plan JERICHO and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) AIRpower in Formation process. Underpinning these, to a greater or lesser degree, is the importance of air power education. Indeed, as Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, Commander of RCAF, recently noted in the introduction to an article…

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Acquisitions

Victoria Nolan, Military Leadership and Counterinsurgency: The British Army and Small War Strategy since World War II (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012). This may seem like a title out of left field for me but it is actually quite appropriate. Nolan examines the relationship between leadership and organisational culture and its effect on British strategy for … Continue reading Acquisitions

Lecture – The ‘Air Force Spirit’: Towards a Cultural Understanding of the Royal Air Force, 1918-1939

I am pleased to announce that on 3 March, I will be giving a paper at the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War. I will be talking on 'The ‘Air Force Spirit’: Towards a Cultural Understanding of the Royal Air Force, 1918-1939'. TALK OUTLINE Born out of the necessity of the First … Continue reading Lecture – The ‘Air Force Spirit’: Towards a Cultural Understanding of the Royal Air Force, 1918-1939

Dowding, Command Culture and the Challenge of Empowerment

The question of leadership styles adopted in organisations relates to the institutions culture. This culture is shaped by the values, beliefs and assumption that underpin institutional thinking and encompasses conceptual as well as physical concerns. For the RAF this has often be shaped around three broad areas; ‘Command of the Air’ (in both conceptual and … Continue reading Dowding, Command Culture and the Challenge of Empowerment

The Transformation is Complete…and Thesis Submitted!

Well, it has happened…I put the words ‘Social’ and ‘Cultural’ into to my thesis title. For someone who once considered themselves an operational military historian who is interested in the conduct of war rather than the people behind, this is a rather big shift. To be honest it is not all that surprising. As my … Continue reading The Transformation is Complete…and Thesis Submitted!

The RAF Staff College and Learning from the French – Sacrebleu!

The RAF Staff College stood up at RAF Andover in November 1921 where it was co-located with its parent headquarters, No. 7 Group. Its formation marked an important step in the evolution of the RAF and its organisational culture. Much of the historiography on the Staff College has focussed on a narrow element of Andover’s … Continue reading The RAF Staff College and Learning from the French – Sacrebleu!

‘The Cinderella Service’: RAF Coastal Command, Organisational Culture and Cultural Adaptation in the Battle of the Atlantic

In May I will be delivering a paper at a conference on the Battle of Atlantic that has been organised by King's College London, the Society for Nautical Research and Global War Studies. He is the paper abstract. The literature on organisational culture suggests that all large organisations have assumptions, beliefs and values that underpin … Continue reading ‘The Cinderella Service’: RAF Coastal Command, Organisational Culture and Cultural Adaptation in the Battle of the Atlantic

The Influence of Trenchard on the RAF’s Official Statements on Air Power

It is clear that Marshal of the Royal Air Force Viscount Trenchard played a vital role in the preservation of the RAF as an independent service. However, he also played a crucial role in shaping the organisational culture of the service in the early years of its existence. Not only did his various formal protestations … Continue reading The Influence of Trenchard on the RAF’s Official Statements on Air Power