• Robert von Miller
  • povjesničar, pedagog
  • Pridružio: 04 Sep 2012
  • Poruke: 1947
  • Gde živiš: Rijeka

iz magazina airmag n26 od 2005

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  • vampire and philosopher
  • Pridružio: 13 Dec 2013
  • Poruke: 3969

Citat:A Hurricane MKII of the Imperial Iranian Air Force, out of Dooshan Tappeh, taxing in the winter snow, high Iran mountain region in the south.

The story of the fledgling Imperial Iran Air Force is much a tale of the phoenix from the ashes. Seen internationally as a 'neutral country from the outbreak of WWII, this neutrality was broken by the Soviet - Anglo invasion, code-named Operation Countenance. With the Persian Gulf and the Iran transport system seen as vital to the war effort, and German U-boats sinking supply ships entering the Gulf, the invasion was an imposed to retain the country's neutral status.

Of the 6 operational airfields, all but two were completely dismantled, with the RAF taking control of Dooshan (south), whilst the Russians took control of Ghale Morghi (North). In an unwarranted and bizarre order from Lt. Gen. Quinan the British then set about destroying the 10 of the 15 operational Curtis Hawks that had been legally purchased from U.S. the year before, with the 5 that were still in perfect condition in their boxes being 'gifted' to the Indian armed forces for their part in aiding the invasion.

Ironically, Iran had made good on their part of the contract to obtain 28 Hawker Hurricanes, to be delivered during 1939 - 1940. However, the out-break of WWII and the Battle of Britain saw the RAF desperate to delay delivery of these precious aircraft until manufacture and the circumstances of war better allowed. To show their 'willing' the British delivered just one aircraft (P3270) in 1939!

With the new Shah in place (the son of the previously deposed Reza Palhavi), renewed pressure was applied to the British government to make good on its promises and make amends for it's needless decimation of the previous air force compliment. And so it was that the British sent No. 74 RAF sqdn on to Egypt, from Dooshan, leaving behind 12 relatively new, but second-hand Hurricane MKII's for the Iranians to rebuild with, as the sqdn moved on to convert to brand new Spitfires. The remaining 18 of the contract were not delivered (also second-hand) until 1946.

As the new Cold War was emerging from the rubble of WW2, the Americans showed renewed interest in the region in 1947, looking to shore up it's hold and control of a portion of the lucrative oil manufacture in the region, and much of this was bartered with by sending a nice consignment of war surplus brand new P-47's, two C-47 transports, and a solitary B-17G to add to the new air force. In a somewhat crass and hypocritical move, the 'neutrality' of the country was re-enforced (disarming the country further) thus all the P-47's and Hurricane MKII's were then converted to weaponless reconnaissance variants! This conveniently left the region open to invasion again should the need arise. This type of political gamesmanship between the west and east has been played out in this oil-rich region ever since.

Credit: Life Magazine - Photographer Dimitri Kessel...

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