V-Bomber Exercise Report from 1961

A fascinating insight into the testing of the capabilities of Bomber Command and Fighter Command during war games.

In 1961 the V-bomber force was responsible for the UK’s nuclear deterrent and so the RAF had to develop procedures to ensure its bombers could survive and retaliate if an attack occurred. Just one year before the Cuban Missile Crisis the May 18 issue of The Aeroplane and Astronautics detailed how the V-bombers prepared for a potential nuclear war…

The Fighting Services….

V-Bomber Readiness and Defence

Held concurrently between May 10 and 16, this year's two major R.A.F. exercises were designed to test as many aspects as possible of the offensive and defensive elements of our deterrent forces.

In the first exercise, code-named "Mayflight," Bomber Command's ability to alert, disperse and subsequently scramble its V-bomber force was practised. The second exercise, known as "Matador," tested the role of Fighter Command to detect and combat enemy activity, and alert the strike element of our deterrent in the United Kingdom.

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