Volume 8 of the Air Power and the Arab World, 1909-1955 mini-series continues the story of the men and machines involved in the first half century of military aviation in the Arab World. These years opened with the Arab countries and their military forces still caught up in the final years of the Second World War. This was followed by a brief period of soaring hopes and often unrealistic ambitions. Meanwhile, the crisis in Palestine was deepening. During the immediate post-war years Arab popular opinion grew increasingly angry, fearing that the Zionist settler community was determined to establish a specifically Jewish state in Palestine at the expense of the indigenous Arab population. Furthermore, it was also becoming clear that the so-called Great Powers which dominated the newly established United Nations Organization were unlikely to stand in the way. Following the Second World War, French influence in the Middle East had collapsed, though this was not as yet the case in North Africa. American influence was growing in the region, though the USA was emerging as pro-Zionist in its policy. The Soviet Union, though nominally also pro-Zionist, still remained a distant and largely insignificant player in Middle Eastern affairs; its only interest being to cause problems for its "Western Power" rivals. This left the British almost literally holding the ring as the dominant imperial power in the Arab Middle East, both in military and political terms. At the same time the British government, the British military establishment and indeed the British public, were showing themselves to be desperately eager to get rid of what was perceived as the burden of the Palestine Problem.