Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Terry Copp

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


There is now over a half century of historiography regarding tactical air power in the Normandy campaign in the Second World War. Within this body of material there exists two schools of thought; by far the largest and most popular is that which argues tactical air power was effective, even decisive, in winning the campaign, primarily in the role of ‘tank-buster’. A more moderate school has attempted to refine this and instead argue that tactical air power, while effective, was not decisive, and contributed to the campaign by producing a negative ‘morale effect’ on the enemy. ln each case the focus has been on the provision of air support directly on the battlefield. This thesis studies the role of 83 Group and its effectiveness in providing support to the land campaign using a broader perspective that incorporates the study of tactical air power both above and beyond the field of battle. It also addresses the assumptions ingrained in the historiography and offers a new, balanced appraisal of tactical air power in Normandy and in the Second World War.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season