Press Release: Airway to the East 1918-1920

One of the greatest mismanagements in RAF history is revealed in this book, recounting the story which began in 1917 with The Balfour Declaration in which Jews were promised a homeland in Palestine while at the same time Britain promised the Arabs independence in exchange for helping them drive the Turks of Palestine and Syria.

This web of contradictions and broken promises caused an Arab revolt which the British Army was unable to contain. The decision was made to reinforce the struggling army with a fleet of RAF bombers. However seventeen crashed or were destroyed en-route to the scene of the unrest, and eight airmen tragically lost their lives. The story fell into the hands of the press and parliament demanded an immediate enquiry, which uncovered a whole range of mismanagements and errors that contributed to the Arab uprising and subsequent revolt and loss of RAF personnel. The findings were suppressed to avoid further embarrassment and bad publicity for the RAF and army. Winston Churchill and the papers never followed up the story, and a whole glut of retired senior RAF officers have all avoided including this event in their written historical accounts. This book finally opens the Air Ministry files and uncovers the truths behind what really happened.
The book takes you chronologically through the events, right from the initial disagreements between the Army and the Navy, through the eruption of the Arab world, right up to the subsequent enquiry and aftermath.

Clive Semple is the son of Leslie George Semple an RAF Officer who worked on No.1 Ariel Route. He has used his father’s diary, scrapbook and photograph albums as the starting point for his lengthy researches.

RRP: £19.99
Hardback, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781848846579
Published: 3rd July 2012
Publisher: Pen and Sword

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