The Battle of France, Bartholomew and Barratt: the creation of Army Co-operation Command

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Abstract

This article investigates the impact of the Battle of France, 1940 and the British Army’s subsequent investigations into the fighting impacted on the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the development of tactical air power in Britain. The investigations by the British Army placed the RAF in a difficult position with regards the provision of air support in Britain. This investigation was severely flawed from the outset with its being chaired by a senior officer who was well known to have a hatred of the RAF and joint-service solutions and blamed the failure of the British Expeditionary Force on a lack of air support from the RAF. It fundamentally misread German tactical and operational doctrine, particularly the application of air power. It will highlight the position of the RAF after the Battle of France and the discussions between the Air Ministry and War Office over the creation of an Army Co-operation Command. Through analysing how Army Co-operation Command was created by the RAF, the RAF’s attitude towards tactical air support will be made clear. Army Co-operation Command was created to appear to be a solution to the problem of RAF-Army relations on the surface but as the Army began to work with Army Co-operation Command they realised it had been created to achieve very little in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-107
Number of pages18
JournalAir and Space Power Review
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Battle of France, 1940
  • Army Co-operation Command
  • General Sir William Bartholomew
  • Air Ministry
  • War Office

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