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The history of the Royal Air Force, the air force of the United Kingdom, spans nearly a century of British military aviation.

The RAF was founded in 1918, toward the end of World War I by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. After the war, the RAF was greatly reduced in size and during the inter-war years it was used to "police" the British Empire. The RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. During the war it was responsible for the aerial defence of Great Britain, the strategic bombing campaign against Germany and tactical support to the British Army around the world.
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