New air power lecture series launched

Official squeamishness and the Bomber Offensive of the Second World War will be the focus of a prestigious lecture hosted by the University of Wolverhampton.

The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies is a new programme of lectures organised by the Royal Air Force Museum in conjunction with the University and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The first lecture at the University of Wolverhampton will be presented by Air Commodore (ret’d) Dr Peter Gray on Thursday, 19 March 2015 on the subject of ‘‘Official squeamishness’ and the Bomber Offensive of the Second World War.’

Dr Gray’s lecture will take place in MC001 at the University’s City Campus Wulfruna at 6pm.

Dr Peter Gray retired from the Royal Air Force in June 2008, having reached the rank of Air Commodore. He took up the position of Senior Research Fellow in Air Power Studies at the University of Birmingham on 1st September 2008. Dr Gray is also a member of the RAF Museum’s Research Board and his latest book, Leadership, Direction and Legitimacy of the RAF Bomber Offence from Inception to 1945, was published by Continuum in 2012.

Dr Gray’s lecture will examine the attitudes prevalent in the Air Ministry during the Second World War towards the Strategic Air offensive Against Germany. Using the Bomber Command Campaign Medal saga and the publicity the campaign received at the time as case studies, the talk will look at the thinking at all levels and seek to establish just how ‘squeamish’ they were.

Ross Mahoney, Aviation Historian from the RAF Museum, said: “This lecture series marks an important step in the development of the RAF Museum’s academic aspirations. The series seeks to explore historical and contemporary issues related to the employment of air power. The series also seeks to bridge the gap between academic and public history by providing a forum for recognised experts to share and disseminate their research to a wider audience. We are pleased to be holding the series in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton which has a world renowned reputation in the field of War Studies.”

Dr Peter Preston-Hough, from the University’s Department of History, Politics and War Studies, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this prestigious series of lectures, which promise to provide an interesting insight into this fascinating area of history. The University has a strong relationship with the RAF Museum and we look forward to working closely with them on the lectures.”

Six lectures will be held as part of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies. The University of Wolverhampton’s Department of History, Politics and War Studies will host three, while the others will take place at the Headquarters of the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.

This lecture is free of charge but people do need to pre-book a free ticket, as seats are limited. For more information email ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org or to book a ticket please visit the RAF Museum website www.rafmuseum.org.

ENDS

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736.

Other dates for the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Series are:

21 May 6pm-7.30pm: Tedder, Intelligence and Operation CRUSADER by Sebastian Cox (Head, Air Historical Branch. Location: No 4 Hamilton Place, Royal Aeronautical Society, London.

25 June 6pm-7.30pm: The Royal Air Force and Losing Air Superiority in the Far East, 1941-1942 by Dr Peter Preston-Hough (University of Wolverhampton). Location: University of Wolverhampton

22 October 6pm-7.30pm: The Trick Cyclists: Neuropsychiatry and the Management of Aerial Warfare, 1939-1945 by Lynsey Shaw (University of Oxford). Location: No 4 Hamilton Place, Royal Aeronautical Society, London.

19 November 6pm-7.30pm: Drone Wars: The Politics and Ethics of Remote Operations by Dr Peter Lee (Portsmouth Business School at RAF College, Cranwell). Location: University of Wolverhampton.

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