Articles in War in History, Vol. 20, No. 3

Two new articles have appeared in War in History. The first deals directly with the era of the Second World War while the latter is written by a member of The Second World War Military Operations Research Group, Dr Matthew Ford.

Diego Navarro Bonilla and Guillermo Vicente Cano, ‘Photographic Air Reconnaissance during the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939: Doctrine and Operations’

The doctrine and real use of aerial photography in Spain during the Spanish Civil War are studied. Both the Republican and rebel air forces developed their observation, reconnaissance, and aerial photography capacities, resources, and structures, which were generally grouped around the second sections of the air general staff. The successful operational and tactical exploitation of this special information provided to land forces is also examined. Finally, the ways of gathering, processing, analysing, and producing photographic intelligence are identified as decisive elements in the high command’s modern decision-making process.

Matthew Ford, ‘Towards a Revolution in Firepower? Logistics, Lethality, and the Lee-Metford

This article examines the British army’s decision to adopt the Lee-Metford magazine rifle in 1888. Examining the perspectives of a number of constituencies in the services shows that the magazine arm was not adopted out of an ambition simply to produce greater volumes of fire. Instead a number of factors shaped the decision to abandon the previous service arm, the Martini-Henry, many of which were contingent and reflected the particular attitudes of those groups with an interest in the infantry’s equipment. What ultimately becomes apparent is that the Lee-Metford was embraced primarily because it did not force any one constituency in the army to adopt the tactical preferences of any of the other groups involved.

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