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Armageddon and Okra

Australia's air operations in the Middle East a century apart

(1 customer review)
Authors: Dr. Lewis Frederickson
Military History, Royal Australian Air Force
245mm x 170mm (B5)

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No. 1 in the Australian Air Campaign Series

The dispatch of an Ottoman Army by Australian-led Imperial air power in the Wadi Fara on 21 September 1918 occurred just five years after the advent of military aviation in Australia. In 1914, the fledgling Australian air service operated the flimsy Bristol Boxkite; four years later it was flying the far more advanced Bristol F2B Fighter. This leap forward represented a profound progress in technology that has typified the technical development of aviation, particularly in Australia ever since. Ironically, on 21 September 2014, 96 years after the events of the Wadi Fara, Australian squadrons were again deployed to the same part of the world where they would remain for more than three years on operations
against extremist terrorism.

Armageddon and OKRA contrasts these events, a century apart, in the context of the development of Australian air power. The book tracks the history where Australia has maintained a balanced air service compelling high technical, logistics and engineering standards, and effective training and command and control systems, for more than 100 years. These processes were as applicable a century ago as they are today. By examining these operational events, the author establishes the connection that access to the technology associated with air power is intrinsically linked to Australia’s enduring foreign and defence policy – more so, that military power is a means to an end, and never an end unto itself.

Dr. Lewis Frederickson

Dr. Lewis Frederickson

Dr. Lewis Frederickson lectures in the history and strategy of air power as the Chief of Air Force Fellow at the University of New South Wales and Australian Defence Force Academy. As an RAAF Officer Lewis deployed several times to the Middle East Region and particularly enjoyed his service as a Qualified Aviation Instructor. His […]

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1 review for Armageddon and Okra

  1. Conflict in the Middle East and involvement by Australian led forces have a long and enduring history. Armageddon and Okra is the first in an air campaign series, analysing and contrasting the effects and evolution of air power during two key phases in military history – Australian Flying Corps operations during the Battle of Armageddon in 1918 and the RAAF’s role in Operation OKRA from 2014 onwards. Of great interest are the photos and diagrams, regional maps, aircraft specifications, statistics and personalised accounts from these two periods. This volume is well laid out, with considerable exploration, attention to detail and discussion around the facts and figures, making it a valued resource for air power enthusiasts, students and researchers. As the RAAF moves toward celebrating 100 years in 2021, Armageddon and OKRA is a must have for any military history collection. I look forward to the next volume.

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