Modelling > Scenarios

Royal Home Defence Force created instead of the RAF


The Smuts report, instead or recommending the formation of a separate air force, recommends the creation of a much more comprehensive Home Defence Force (HDF), incorporating UK based fighter squadrons, Army coastal fortresses and artillery, anti aircraft artillery and the Territorial Army as well as RN Coastal Forces. As the HDF evolved post war it incorporated a nascent Coastal Command, less long range maritime patrol that became a FAA role.

Tactical air power, other than carrier based, remained with the Army, while strategic bombing became, like long range maritime patrol, an FAA role, as the RN became the primary long range strike arm and strategic attack of ports was seen as a primary bomber and RN mission.

As a result of the Smuts report the RAF is never formed, a combined arms Royal Home Defence Force is stood up instead, The Army becomes a combined arms expeditionary force and the RN becomes a combined arms strike and trade protection force.

Interesting idea . . . BUT . . . I can't see the Navy giving up any of it's assets and missions, at least without a hell of a struggle, particularly those that it would consider 'traditional', such as the defence of Naval Bases, which presume in this scenario, would pass to the new Defence Force.
The thing with the OTL formation of the RAF, was that both 'sides', the Army and the Navy, both 'lost', with both their air assets being passed to the newly formed RAF. In addition, for both forces, the air capability was new, and thus hadn't really had time to become fully bedded in to either service's traditions.
On the other hand, for the Navy to not only give up assets and missions, including ships, but to give them to the Army, would be too much for Their Lordships to stomach . . .


Old Wombat:
I don't see so many "losses" as "trades" in roles, as the RFC (Army) loses the strategic bomber role to the RNAS but gains coastal defence.

In my own time line the RAAF (& RAF) are formed to take on the strategic roles (offensive & defensive) in the air, long-range heavy bombers, short-range fighters & AAA striking at enemy infrastructure & defending Australian/British infrastructure. The Armies (Aus/Brit) retain short-range strike & front-line defensive roles, incorporating CAS as it is developed, in the air. The RAN & RN retain all levels of maritime strike & defence, up to & including Marines air arms to support landing & ground-based operations.


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