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The fighter-bomber rose from obscurity in January 1941 to become the major component of the RAF’s Desert Air Force strike power by late 1942. This was a major shift in the way the RAF employed its aircraft. The tactical and technical factors that led to this change are crucial not only to understanding the course of the Second World War, but also to the history of airpower itself. In this article, Justin Bronk discusses how the fighter-bomber became the most important and practical component in the arsenal of a modern air force in terms of capability to project power on the battlefield.