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Coll 5/73 ‘Afghan Air Force: Reports on’ [‎74v] (148/431)

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The record is made up of 1 file (214 folios). It was created in 14 Jun 1938-30 Dec 1947. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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Opinion of the Italian Romeos amongst the
Afghans continues low. Wing Commander
King*s report on the Tiger Moth, which he
tested with a view to ascertaining its
merits as a trainer under Kabul conditions,
is attached and is very favourable. It
has made a good impression both on the
Afghan pilots and their Government, who
state that they will require some six or
eight of this type if they can be made
available. The good impression made on the
Afghan pilots by the Tiger Moth (which some
of them tested) is held partly responsible
for the changeover in favour from U.S. to
British aircraft. This may also be ascribed
to the correct attitude of the U.S. legation
since the departure of Major Enders, the
late Military Attache.
The suggestion, tentative though it is,
for the training of some Afghan airmen in
India is a good sign of the maintenance of
our influence over the Afghan Air Force.
We have now heard that trie Afghan Grovernnent
are not interested in the Swordfish aircraft, since
their ceiling is not sufficiently high. As for the
Tiger Moth, the Afghans were slightly disconcerted
when they heard that its propeller came adrift on
the home;vard flight to India. It has been explained
to them that the mishap was caused by the faulty
adjustment of a retaining screw and was due to no
structural defect, and it is to be hoped that this
explanation will allay their fears. (The aeroplane
made a perfect landing without the propeller).
The report states that it is now unlikely that
the Afghans will reach a decision on the type of
aircraft they desire until the Air Force officer, attached
to the Afghan Military Mission, v/hich is due to go to
India in December, reports to them. In the meantime,
it is ft ft** encouraging to note their desire to retain
British instructors in their Air Force.

About this item


The file contains periodical reports by the British Military Attaché at Kabul (Colonel Alexander Stalker Lancaster) on the Afghan Air Force, they cover the period 1 March 1938 to 31 October 1947. There is a gap for the period 2 May 1938 to 31 October 1940 for which no reports are present in the file.

The reports cover a range of topics such as training flights, operations conducted, condition of aircraft, accidents, maintenance work, availability of spares, petrol stores, ground facilities, administrative or political developments, and any proposals for the purchase of additional aircraft. The reports also cover the positions of the British Instructors at Kabul relative to their Italian counterparts, and indicate the progress made in training Afghan students.

The file includes a report by Squadron Leader Reid (see folios 22-23) on his testing of the Avro Anson XIX, and a report by Squadron Leader B P King on his testing of the de Havilland Tiger Moth (see folios 82-83), for service in Afghanistan.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 file (214 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 215; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 5/73 ‘Afghan Air Force: Reports on’ [‎74v] (148/431), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2034, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 13 April 2024]

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