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Course introduction

Ross Mahoney and Emmett Sullivan discuss their motivation for putting this course on.

Welcome to the course!

Dr Ross Mahoney and I will be hosting the discussion for the six weeks of the course. Ross is the Aviation Historian for the RAF Museums, and he is based in Hendon, London. I am a Senior Lecturer in History at Royal Holloway, University of London, based in Egham, Surrey.

We conceived of this free online course as a way of exploring the role of the RAF in the Cold War for the public more generally. Ross is developing a research project around the topic; and I teach a University of London Special Subject (a final year undergraduate double unit) under the title ‘The Bomb – A History’, which deals in part with the development and deployment of Britain’s atomic and nuclear deterrent during this era. We have tried to make the course as accessible as possible, and we hope you enjoy learning more about the RAF and its role in this period.

Please feel free to view our profiles and “follow” us if you would like to stay up to date with the comments we make in this course:

Dr Ross Mahoney
Dr Emmett Sullivan

As well as Ross and myself, Kim Zinngrebe will be the discussion manager for the course in the first three weeks. Kim is currently finishing her PhD at SOAS, Univeristy of London (she has just submitted her doctorate), and has degrees from Royal Holloway, the LSE and Oxford. Kim has worked on both of the previous Department of History free online courses, and appears in my earlier course. Kim is based in Germany, her homeland.

Periodically during each of the weeks we will be interviewing a range of people who have an association with the topic. Here, in the first week, we will be talking to Flight Lieutenant Roger Wilkins about his experiences in the RAF under National Service. Roger stayed on to fly Meteor and Hunter jets around the world in the service of the UK. We will have other guests popping up as the weeks go on.

There is a Facebook page for the course, where we will adding some additional material as we go along; and there is also a Twitter account as well. The hashtag for the course is #FLcoldwarRAF.

We hope you enjoy the course, and please engage with the discussions whenever you can.

Emmett Sullivan

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From World War to White Heat: the RAF in the Cold War

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