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The Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lecture

29 March 2019

The lecture will be held at the Royal Air Force Museum, London

In the first of the RAF Museum’s 2019 series of lunchtime lectures on The Legacy of the First World War Andrew Renwick will discuss the developments of photography in the Royal Air Force during the interwar period.

Aerial Camera being handed to crew of Fairey Gordon

TALK OUTLINE

The interwar period is often overlooked in the history of RAF aerial photography. It was a period, however, where technological advances and experimentation turned aerial photography into a science, a tool vital for the successful conduct of operations, both on land and sea. By 1938, with the threat of war in Europe very real, General Werner Thomas Ludwig Freiherr von Fritsch forecast that the country with the best photographic reconnaissance would win the war. Constance Babington Smith, the photographic interpreter and author, commented that “…the precedents of the First World War still dominated the military scene.” While this may have been true in many aspects of war, it wasn’t true in RAF aerial photography. It was unfortunate that military thinking failed to keep pace with developments in aviation, including aerial photography. Planners expected the next European war would be a continuation of the last, overlooking all the changes that had taken place, not just in the technology available, but the way it could be used. This lecture will look at the developments of the interwar period, the introduction of new equipment and its development in an operational environment. It looks at the exploitation of the new technology, and the ways in which it was incorporated into RAF operations. It also looks at its exploitation for clandestine reconnaissance, ahead of the outbreak of war, and the struggle to change outdated thinking.

LOCATION AND TIME

The lecture will be held at the Royal Force Museum, London at 12:30pm on Friday 29 March 2019.

TICKETS

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

ABOUT ANDREW RENWICK

Andrew is the Royal Air Force Museum’s Curator of Photographs, a post he has held since 1989, having previously graduated St John’s College, Durham University, with BSc (Hons) in Geology. Working at the RAF Museum has allowed Andrew the opportunity to combine his enduring interests both photography and mechanised transport. During Andrew’s time as Curator of Photographs the Museum has organised 15 temporary photograph exhibitions and provided images for the Museum’s website, catalogues, articles and promotional material. Further to this Andrew has played an important role in supplying, and providing the context for, images which have helped form part of over 20 Museum exhibitions, including the National Cold War Exhibition at Cosford. Andrew’s previous research on RAF Hendon has been published in “RAF Hendon: Birthplace of Aerial Power”. Andrew has also contributed to published articles and produced a chapter for the RAF Museum’s First World War in the Air exhibition catalogue. Drawing on his exceptional knowledge of the RAF Museum’s photographic collection Andrew has undertaken research on the techniques, technology and application of photography in the RAF during the interwar period.

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. For further details about the Research Programme please contact: research@rafmuseum.org

Please note that lectures may be subject to change.

DOWNLOAD 2019 LECTURE PROGRAMME


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