Our London site in now closed, until at least 1 May 2020
please visit our Coronavirus Update page for further information

Legacy of War Lunchtime Lecture: Identify and Support

27 March 2020

Lecture now cancelled
The health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff is always our highest priority. In line with the latest advice from Public Health England, the Royal Air Force Museum at London, Cosford and Stafford will be closed temporarily until at least 1 May 2020.
 
Therefore we have decided to cancel this lecture. We hope to rearrange all the lectures which have been effected in this way to a date later in the year.  

We are still working with our various partners to ensure that all Museum events after 1 May including our lectures continue as planned. This decision will be reviewed and updated as required.
 
Should any further changes occur to our lecture series these will be communicated to the public via our website and social media channels.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

With the introduction of aircraft on to the battlefield during World War One came the problem of effectively identifying the friendly troops that were to be supported, whether this was with attack aircraft or dropping supplies from the air.

Dropping supplies by parachute


This resulted in a need for troops to identify their location by various means, also with the introduction of Tanks and armoured cars onto the battleground these too had to have identifying markings because of the risk of ‘friendly fire.’

During the inter-war period there was less need for this during minor conflicts, although supply drops and other support did take place. With the outbreak of the Second World War the need to identify ‘friendly troops’ on the battlefield returned with a vengeance, with more aircraft being used over wider and more diverse terrain the problem of casualties caused by ‘friendly fire’ was much greater than in the previous world war.

Initially the markings and techniques available were basically the same as used in the previous conflict, however, other methods were used in the deserts of North Africa, the jungles of Burma and in the Normandy campaign.

The use of Airborne Forces meant that supply dropping became of greater utility during the latter conflict as did the problems, air re-supply at Arnhem failed to a great extent. Air re-supply in Burma had its own difficulties but became essential in both defensive battles and in the offensive against the Japanese 1944-1945.

Since the end of the Second World War there have been different scales of conflict but the problems that had been seen in both world wars returned with ‘friendly fire’ casualties still occurring on the battlefield. Measures to try to prevent these were modified and ‘improved’, however, whether these casualties can be totally eliminated using modern technology could still be considered in doubt.

Location

The lecture will be held at the Royal Air Force Museum on Friday 27 March 2020.

Please note this lecture will begin at 12.30pm.

TICKETS

?The RAF Museum regrets that this lecture has been cancelled.

ABOUT MIKE MEECH

Mike Meech has been a volunteer at the RAF Museum since 1993 and undertakes tour guiding as well as working in the Photographic Collection. Previously he served in the RAF as an airframe fitter for ten years and then transferred to the British Army’s Intelligence Corps for eight years.

On leaving HM Forces he undertook a BA Combined Honours Degree in Archaeology and History at the University of Southampton. Since then he has worked for the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments in England, the Victoria & Albert Museum and other organisations.

Mike has also written articles that have been published in Cross & Cockade International and the Journal of The Society for Army Historical Research, he also contributed an article for the RAF Museum’s publication First World War in the Air.

ABOUT THE RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME

The Legacy of War Lunchtime Lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2020. The full programme can be downloaded here

The 2020 programme consists of the evening Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies — held at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London — the Legacy of War Lunchtime Lectures and Battle of Britain Lunchtime Lecture — both held at our London site — and the Cold War Lunchtime Lectures — held at our Cosford site.

New to 2020 the Museum will also host evening seminars at the University of Wolverhampton and Lancaster University. 

In 2020 the Museum's research conference will examine The RAF in a World Transformed, 1945–49.

Please note that lectures are subject to change.


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