Air War Northern Ireland

ISBN: 9781526721549
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Cover: Paperback
Pages: 176pp

Air War Northern Ireland

Britain's Air Arms and the Bandit Country of South Armagh, Operation Banner 1969-2007
By Steven Taylor



Famously dubbed ‘Bandit Country’ by a UK government minister in 1975, South Armagh was considered the most dangerous part of Northern Ireland for the British Army and RUC during the Troubles that engulfed the province in the last three decades of the twentieth century.

This was also true for the helicopter crews of the RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps who served there. Throughout this period the Provisional IRA’s feared South Armagh brigade waged a relentless campaign against military aircraft operating in the region, where the threat posed by roadside bombs made the security forces highly dependent on helicopters to conduct day-to-day operations. From pot-shot attacks with WWI era rifles in the early days of the conflict to large scale, highly co-ordinated ambushes by PIRA active service units equipped with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and even shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), the threat to British air operations by the late 1980s led to the arming of helicopters operating in the border regions of Northern Ireland. 

Additional Information

About the Author

Steven Taylor is a freelance journalist based in Scotland, writing principally about military history - and in particular military aviation - who has contributed to various UK newspapers as well as Aeroplane Monthly, Jets, Britain At War and Military History Monthly. He has also written articles about the Troubles for the News Letter and Belfast Telegraph.

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