The American bomb in Britain

US Air Forces’ strategic presence, 1946–64

Author: Ken Young

A history of the US nuclear presence in Britain from its origins in 1946 through to the run-down of strategic forces following the Cuba crisis and the coming of the missile age. The book deals with the initial negotiations over base rights, giving a detailed treatment of the informal and secret arrangements to establish an atomic strike capability on British soil. The subsequent build-up is described, with the development of an extensive base network and the introduction of new and more advanced types of bomber aircraft. Relations with the British during these developments are a central focus but tensions within the USAF are also dealt with. The book recounts the emergence of the UK as a nuclear power through prolonged negotiations with the US authorities. It deals in detail with the arrangements for RAF aircraft to carry US nuclear weapons, and the development of joint strike planning. A concluding chapter provides a critical assessment of the UK role in the Anglo-American nuclear alliance.

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‘The American Bomb in Britain is an impressive achievement and significant contribution to the field. It is highly recommended to academic and public libraries and anyone who has ever reflected on what was actually special about the Anglo-American 'special relationship.'
Joseph M. Siracusa, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University
H-Diplo
December 2016

‘Young's detailed passages on the intricacies of deploying, bedding down, maintaining, and operating strategic bombers, and how such skilled and famed USAF officers as General Leon Johnson forged and maintained working relationships with RAF and British civil authorities on a day-to-day basis to achieve operational goals are especially informative.'
Steve Agoratus, Hamilton NJ
Air Power History
January 2017

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