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Christopher M. Bell, author of Churchill and Seapower, has published “Air Power and the Battle of the Atlantic: Very Long Range Aircraft and the Delay in Closing the Atlantic ‘Air Gap” in the latest issue of the Journal of Military History (July 2015). The article considers the failure of the Royal Air Force’s Coastal Command to acquire the Very Long Range aircraft needed to close the mid-Atlantic Air Gap until May 1943. Previously Winston Churchill has been identified as one of the “usual villains in the story” who was thought to deny aircraft to Coastal Command in favor of providing them to Bomber Command. Bell examines the issue and Churchill’s role in the affair. He finds that Churchill, while “strongly predisposed to support the claims of Bomber Command,” did not delay the provision of the necessary aircraft to Coastal Command. When presented with the aircraft request in November 1942 Churchill gave it his full support. Bell finds that Churchill’s intervention “accelerated” rather than delayed the provision of the aircraft to Coastal Command and the closing of the Air Gap. The web site for the Journal of Military History is here.

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