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Guideline Publications Interceptor Force Colin Ovens

Interceptor Force
Colin Ovens
Interceptor Force is the companion volume to Colin Oven's "Strategic Force",
also published by Guideline, and covers a similar time period, from 1950
until the dissolution of Fighter Command in 1968.

At the end of war in 1945, the Royal Air Force needed to reorganise itself
on a peacetime basis. To this end, squadrons were disbanded, aircraft went
to the scrap yard, and large numbers of personnel were demobilised.
However, unlike in 1918, this time there were no illusions about having
fought "a war to end wars". The new peacetime RAF would have to be able to
react rapidly to any threat or crisis that may affect British interests,
anywhere around the world. To this end, new aircraft continued to enter
squadron service, albeit in relatively small numbers - such as the Avro
Lincoln B.2 and the de Havilland Hornet F.I.

However the most significant new aircraft were the de Havilland Vampire
which entered squadron service in April 1946, and the Gloster Meteor, which
first joined a front line squadron in mid-1944. These aircraft heralded the
demise of the piston-engined interceptor, not only within Fighter Command
but also in air forces worldwide.

For a while it seemed that there was no really serious threat to the UK,
although Russia was becoming a rather un-cooperative post war ally. Once
the Russians had established puppet communist regimes in Eastern Europe, it
became clear that they were casting their gaze, and ambitions, westward.
Relations were difficult, and between June 1948 and May 1949 the Russians
blockaded Berlin, and not long after the lifting of the blockade, Russia
detonated its first atom-bomb in 1949. A powerful threat to Western
European and UK security was rapidly developing.

RAF Fighter Command squadrons and their equipment are examined with both the
general reader and the scale modeller in mind, and the photographs and
coloured profiles have been chosen to reflect these interests. This was an
era of large, colourful squadron markings, and futuristic swept-wing and
delta aircraft. As with the Strategic Force volume, many of the photos are
from the collection of Terry Panopolis, and the profiles come from
Guideline's artists.
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