RAF Movie – Conflict of Wings (1954)

Conflict of Wings 1954 De Havilland Vampire

The great thing about YouTube is that sometimes it will open you up to movies forgotten by time and this is one such movie. Set in 1950s Norfolk the story concerns the local population of a village as they learn that a nearby stretch of land called the Island of Children is going to be used as a weapons range by the RAF. The once pleasant relations with the nearby RAF base quickly turn sour as both put forward their arguments leading to a surprisingly tense climax.

This is a simple movie that has that 1950s innocence to it with undertones of the serious nature of the early Cold War world. From a military enthusiast’s point of view there is plenty here to keep you interested such as footage of an active RAF base in the 1950s and an albeit brief glimpse at squadron life. One of the most interesting scenes is a training session covering the use of rockets against ships and tanks.

The flying eye-candy primarily concerns the squadron’s De Havilland Vampires that are being re-roled from a fighter to a ground attack tasking hence the need for a new weapons range. Other aircraft that feature include a Gloster Meteor T.7 and perhaps best of all a pair of pre-production Supermarine Swifts that visit the base. The two Swift pilots joke about the Vampires being museum pieces which is somewhat ironic since the Swift’s career was nowhere near as successful as the Vampire’s.

The rest of the movie addresses an important topic that is as relevant now as it was back then; the military’s impact on the environment. This is not an action packed movie although it has some nice flight scenes. It has good pacing and at just under an hour and a half it’s not too long. Got a quiet afternoon and like aeroplanes and local history then this might be for you.

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9 responses to “RAF Movie – Conflict of Wings (1954)

  1. A wonderful film with plenty of nostalgia. It is as you say Tony, as relevant today as it was in the 50s and whilst entertaining, addresses many of the issues the RAF and locals face when it comes to training. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Forgotten Aircraft: Supermarine Swift | Defence of the Realm

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