The RAF's Air War In Libya (Hardback)

New Conflicts in the Era of Austerity

Aviation History Books

Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 196
ISBN: 9781781590607
Published: 2nd October 2012

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The uprising in Libya in the spring of 2011 took the world by surprise. The Gaddafi regime's brutal attempts at suppressing the uprising, however, soon prompted the international community to respond. NATO agreed to impose a no-fly zone across Libya which was led by Britain, France and the USA.

For the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, the deployment of RAF and Royal Navy assets in support of UN Resolution 1973, came at a time when severe cuts to the UK's defence spending were in the process of being enacted. With the Royal Navy aircraft carriers and their Harrier jets no longer available, would the UK be able to mount operations 3,000 miles away?

In this, the first book to analyse the Libyan campaign, David Sloggett details the causes of the uprising, and examines each stage of the war through to its termination with the death of Colonel Gaddafi.

In conclusion, Dr Sloggett considers the future prospects for a post-Gaddafi Libya and, more significantly, how NATO in general, and Britain in particular, will respond to similar events in the future.

The RAF's Air War in Libya is actually a far greater book than its title might indicate. It explains the background to the Libyan conflict, the regional and historical tensions between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and the rise to power of Colonel Gaddafi. Sloggett then provides a step by step account of the transition to conflict and the final launch of the Arab Spring. It is hard to believe that anyone else would attempt to write another book on this subject. It is likely, therefore, that this publication will become the standard work on Britain's involvement in this part of the Arab Spring. Book of the month.

Britain at War

Whether you're interested in military aviation, tactics or politics – or merely a fan of Dave's writing (as we are at Jets!) this book is a winner. Very highly recommended.


Over its 196 pages, it delivers a comprehensive overview, complemented by an index and excellent detailed listing of RAF strikes, including aircraft types involved, weapons employed and target types. This volume provides an excellent bird's-eye view of the action.

Aviation News

This book is the first to analyse the Libyan Campaign, the causes of the uprising against the Gaddafi Regime and the implications for NATO. The author has examined and considered all of the implications and of the conduct of the air war. The text is supported by an interesting black and white plate section, his is a book that should be widely read.

Firetrench Reviews

The current Coalition Government Strategic Defence and Security (SDSR) was put under the spotlight almost immediately by events in Libya in the spring of 2011 with the decision to deploy the RAF and Royal Navy in support of UN Resolution 1973. With no aircraft carriers available and with severe cuts to virtually every area of the armed forces, would the UK actually be able to mount operations over Libya, some 3,000 miles from the UK? This is central to David Sloggett's skilled analysis of the campaign, its causes, progress, conclusion, and aftermath.

Military History Monthly

A comprehensive insight into the Libyan War of 2011. Sloggett examines the political landscape that brought about NATO's involvement in Libya.The author also outlines the future prospects for NATO after what was undoubtedly a successful campaign. He feels Libya was in many ways a one-off. Russia and China will not again be diplomatically outmanoeuvred as they were in 2011. They allowed the West an incremental means of interfering in one of their client state's internal affairs. Events in Syria are proving this analysis to be correct.

Warships International Fleet Review

Well worth reading as an accessible and credible examination of the value of military force in general, and air power in particular in a world beyond Afghanistan.

RAF Centre for Air Power Studies - Chief of Air Staff's Reading List 2013
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