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Trenchard, Hugh, 1st Viscount Trenchard

Trenchard, Hugh, 1st Viscount Trenchard (1873–1956). Soldier and airman. ‘Boom’ Trenchard began his service career as an infantryman. By 1912, when he learned to fly, he was a major whose career appeared to be going nowhere. But by 1915 he was a major-general in command of the Royal Flying Corps in France. The RFC was then part of the army but when the Royal Air Force was established as the world's first independent air force in 1918, Trenchard became its first professional head as chief of air staff, a post he held with only a brief interruption until 1929. After 1918 he fought tenaciously to preserve the RAF's independent existence by claiming that the next major war could be won by bombing alone. This theory had a powerful appeal to a nation anxious to avoid a repetition of the war on the western front, but proved to be hopelessly wrong during the Second World War.

David French

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Trenchard, Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Viscount

Hugh Montague Trenchard Trenchard, 1st Viscount, 1873–1956, British air marshal. He entered the army in 1893 and served in the South African War. During World War I he commanded the Royal Flying Corps. As chief of air staff (1918, 1919–29), Trenchard shaped the offensive air strategy (to the neglect of air defense) that the Royal Air Force adhered to into World War II. He was (1931–35) commissioner of the London police force and was created a peer in 1936.

See biography by A. Boyle (1962).

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