Imperial Airs: Leo Amery, air power and empire, 1873-1945

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In January 1904, at a lecture by a famous geographer, only a few weeks after the first flight of the Wright brothers, a young journalist named Leo Amery argued that air power would become a major ingredient of world power. His prescient comment is often quoted, but only to be glossed over. This article elaborates on it. The origins of Amery's views on air power lay in his childhood, his experience covering the South African War and the 'national efficiency' movement of Edwardian Britain. His views developed through his service in a variety of government appointments, including Lloyd George's Cabinet in the First World War and Churchill's Cabinet in the Second World War, and he occasionally managed to get his ideas turned into actions. Thus contextualised, Amery's views on air power illuminate both the man and the times through which he lived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-598
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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