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Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lecture

30 August 2019

This lecture will be held on Friday 30 August 2019 at the Royal Air Force Museum, London

In the third of the RAF Museum’s 2019 Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lectures series, James Halstead will explore how the Egyptian Expeditionary Force adopted Western Front command structures and techniques to develop a combined arms system by examining the battles of Third Gaza and Megiddo.

RFC group photograph in Egypt, 1915

TALK OUTLINE

The Egyptian Expeditionary Force, during the fighting in Palestine, 1917–18, adopted a Western Front style command structure that effectively integrated air power at the tactical and strategic level. However, the RFC/RAF’s combined arms role has been severely overlooked within the literature. Most studies tend to focus upon the army, or air force, as separate institutions and often adopt many of the biases of these services, most obviously, in the respective official histories by Cyril Falls and H.A. Jones.

This paper will study combined arms system in Palestine drawing equally on army and air force sources and will argue the EEF adopted Western Front command structures and techniques which efficiently integrated air power at the tactical and strategic level. Air power provided intelligence to Corps and Army HQs which allowed them to control the tempo of EEF operations while ground attack operations developed to become capable of significantly hindering Ottoman tempo and command and control arrangements.

Martinsyde G.100 Elephant transit Case

This paper will begin with background on air power’s general development in Palestine, the challenges faced by the EEF and Allenby’s influence in importing systems and techniques of command from the western front. Having established the difficulties faced by the EEF and its air power in Palestine it will conclude with two case studies of the battles of Third Gaza and Megiddo. These case studies will explore how these combined arms systems adapted and developed to suit the conditions of the battle and the needs of the EEF. The paper will conclude by looking at the legacy of Palestine, studying the abandonment of combined arms doctrine in the inter-war period, and will briefly touch upon its rediscovery in the Western Desert campaign of the Second World War.     

LOCATION AND TIME

The lecture will be held at the Royal Force Museum, London at 12:30pm on Friday 30 August 2019.
   

TICKETS

This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited. 

Book now for this free lecture

ABOUT JAMES HALSTEAD.

James Halstead is a post-graduate student who previously studied for his BA at the University of Kent and his MA with King’s College, London. He begins his PhD studies in October with the University of Brunel where he will be studying Information Management Systems in the British and Commonwealth Armies of the Second World War. Today’s paper is taken from his post-graduate thesis on combined arms in Palestine between 1917 and 1918 under Allenby. His other research areas include air ground integration during the First World War and wargaming both in the British Army, especially during the first half of the 20th century as well as the utility of wargaming as a research methodology for military history. His undergraduate thesis on ground attack on the Western Front between 1917 and 1918 was the recipient of the RAF Museum’s Undergraduate Prize in 2017. The RAF Museum is an institution that shaped James’s interest in military history from a young age and he is excited to offer this contribution to the Museum’s lecture programme.  

ABOUT THE RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME

The Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lectures form a part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2019. This programme consists of the evening Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies — held in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton and Royal Aeronautical Society in London — the Cold War Lunchtime Lectures at Cosford, and other events such as conferences.

Please note that lectures are subject to change.

DOWNLOAD THE 2019 LECTURE PROGRAMME



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