Military Aviation in Ireland, 1921-45 Jacket Image
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Military Aviation in Ireland, 1921-45

Michael C. O'Malley (author)
Publication date:
1st July 2010

Author Biography

Lieutenant Colonel Michael C. O'Malley served in the Air Corps, as a flying officer, from 1961 to 1999 and holds a doctorate in history from NUI, Maynooth.


"Military Aviation in Ireland" charts the history of the Air Corps from its early days as the Military Air Service established by Michael Collins in 1922 to the ineffective air operations conducted during the Second World War period. The Air Service came about when the Civil War caused the postponement of Michael Collins' plans for a civil air service. After participation in the war of 1922-3 a small Air Corps was confirmed as the token air element of a substantially infantry army. The Army Air Corps survived the 1920s and 1930s, despite the absence of government defence policy and the Army leadership's great indifference to military aviation. In the Second World War period, two squadrons of the Air Corps were given air force tasks for which they had little aptitude and for which they were totally unprepared in terms of personnel, airmanship, aircraft and training, failures which led directly to the demoralization of the Corps. During most of this period the Air Corps, on secretive government orders, carried out tasks aimed at assisting the war effort of the Royal Air Force. Using extensive archival research, Michael C.O'Malley throws new light on the people and operations of Ireland's early aviation history.