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Richard Holmes Lecture 2024

November 19th, 2024

Air Control from the Sea: Tactical Air Command & Control during Operation Neptune

The talk will examine the development of expeditionary air command and control (C2) in the European Theatre in 1942 and 1943; examine the problems facing the planners for the air aspects of Operation Neptune; describe the solutions arrived at; explain how they were implemented; examine the problems that occurred, and the successes; the implications of these factors in the different conduct of day and night air defence; and briefly describe the subsequent uses of sea-based air C2 in the final year of the war in Eurpoe.  It will be shown that the solutions employed to deliver continuous C2 of Allied airpower, in the transition from bases in UK to ones in France, were specific to that situation.  And, whilst the ability to control air support assets from the naval HQ ships proved to be of limited value the ability to control day and night fighters from the Fighter Direction Tenders was of significant value and employed for much longer than envisaged.


Date November 19th, 2024


Guild Secretary
Email Secretary@gbg-international.com


Royal College of Defence Studies