Air Power and Empire in the Arabian Peninsula
DOI link for Air Power and Empire in the Arabian Peninsula
Air Power and Empire in the Arabian Peninsula book
For most of the lifespan of the British empire, the Arabian Peninsula was only of peripheral imperial interest. Despite the steady tightening of British control over the centuries, the Gulf and Peninsula had never been a principal objective but a means to an end, viz. securing the approaches to India. But several decades into the present century, this was changing. In the words of Lord Wavell, Viceroy of India, 'There are two main material factors in the revolutionary change that has come over the strategical face of Asia. One is air power, the other is oil. ' 1 The discovery and exploitation of oil in the Gulf has been the more important and permanent factor catapulting the region into global attention, but the necessities of air communications and air power were first responsible for British concern with the security of the Arabian Peninsula itself. Not long after the technology of air power had been developed, it was applied to Arabia. It was to remain a principal British tool for providing both internal and external security until final withdrawal in 1971.