Air Power & The Arab World, 1909-1955, Vol. 9 The Arab Air Forces & A New World Order, 1946-1948
This is book #59 of the Middle East at War series and Volume 9 of The Air Power and the Arab World, 1909-1955 series. The book covers only the years between 1946 through 1948. The book contains 10 sections/chapters, as well as an Introduction, a Bibliography and small bio of the two authors.
The first four chapters are dedicated to the air forces of Egypt, Syria, Iran as well several other small air forces from smaller Arab countries. The other chapters deal with the Palestine situation, the Arab Militaries of 1947, the situation of the Arab World during 1947-1948, and Egypt's mobilization, the Iranian preparations, Syria's heroes/Volunteers, the Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF), and extends from the end of WWII through 1946. The chapter touches on the problems and challenges of the emerging Air Force. In addition, the chapter provides a roster of the aircrafts used by the REAF.
The second chapter describe the emerging Royal Iraqui Air Force (RIrAF) from early 1945 through 1946. Again the struggles and challenges are described. The third chapter moves to the Syrian Air Force. The organization of this air force started soon after they acquired their independence in 1936. Their relationship with the French and British are described, as well as their training.
The fourth chapter deals with the smaller air forces of the Arab world and include, although briefly, the air forces of Lebanon, Transjordan and Saudi Arabia. This is a very small chapter, and I wish it could have been developed a little more.
In the fifth chapter the authors start developing the Palestine turmoil, the British involvement in the turmoil and finally the war that broke out in 1948.
The next chapter talks about the Arab militaries during 1947. The authors state the situation in the 4 main Arab countries. They include Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Transjordan. The time covered is between 1947 throught 1948.
The 7th chapter talks about the other Arab nations through the same period as that stated in chapter six. This chapter is short and, I wish it could have been developed a little more. The countries stated in this chapter are Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Aden and Sudan.
Chapter 8 regards the Egyptian mobilization of 1948 due to the continued political unrest, a complete British military evacuation from Egypt, and the call for the unity of the Nile Valley. The chapter talks about the poor state of the REAF, as well as the army. Other topics are the continued conflict between British and Egyptian forces, the desire to help the Arab Liberation Army are among the topics touched by the authors. Throughout the chapter the authors keep referring to the poor condition of their REAF, as well as the steps taken to improve that condition.
Chapter nine touches briefly on the preparations of Iraq, and although Iraq had a treaty with the British they eventually entered the Palestine War with only a few planes.
The last chapter includes information about the pilots the SyAAF used during the Palestine War. They were "volunteers" from several Arab countries, as well as from other countries. The 21 profiles show planes from Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and England.
I found the book interesting and informative, but I felt that, at least to my knowledge of the Palestine conflict and the situation in the Arab countries during that time, it left me with many questions about the conflict. I have to agree that the authors did a very good job in this short book. Maybe a longer book would be better in order to completely cover this conflict. I have to commend the authors for their informative book.
Thanks to Casemate Publishers for the opportunity to reviewing the book.