This new book provides a very different approach to presenting the story of Coastal Command, with a good selection of images. The Royal Navy was able to regain control of most British naval aviation in 1938. The exception was Coastal Command which remained part of the RAF. A very readable book that is engrossing but which can be dipped into as required. A valuable companion to any collection of WWII aviation books.
NAME: A Dictionary of Coastal Command 1939-1945 FILE: R2456 AUTHOR: Geoff Simpson PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 151 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War Two, World War 2, 1939-1945, maritime patrol, maritime attack, marine aviation, RAF ISBN: 1-47387-271-5 IMAGE: B2456.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/z5gw2w6 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This new book provides a very different approach to presenting the story of Coastal Command, with a good selection of images. The Royal Navy was able to regain control of most British naval aviation in 1938. The exception was Coastal Command which remained part of the RAF. A very readable book that is engrossing but which can be dipped into as required. A valuable companion to any collection of WWII aviation books. The battle between the Royal Navy and the RAF for control of naval aviation rumbled on between the two World Wars. The experiences of WWII at sea demonstrate the need for a navy to have control of all of the available naval aviation assets. The RAF leadership was never very interested in providing naval aviation, only in preventing any other service from taking over. The primary mission of the RAF from 1918 was to provide a strategic bombing capability. The next priority was to provide point defence fighters to protect its airfields and prevent an enemy strategic bombing campaign from succeeding. Coastal Command was the Cinderella service, depending on hand-me-downs from Bomber Command and taking a back seat in the queue for aircraft factory capacity. Had it not been for the extreme bravery of Coastal Command aircrews, the RAF could have cost Britain the war. As a dictionary, this book allows the reader to start at page one and keep turning pages to the end, or dip in as required, quickly locating the desired information. It is a novel approach to the subject and makes the book an ideal reference work for all readers who are interested in aviation and naval warfare. It tells the story of great achievement by Coastal Command crews who had to fly lengthy missions it testing conditions, mostly in aircraft that were close to or past their sell-by date. In the early years of WWII, the Royal Navy was very hard pressed to maintain the vital convoys between North America and the British Isles, and between the globally scattered Empire and Britain. Much of the food required by the British was delivered by sea, as was the bulk of its vital raw materials and manufactured munitions and equipment. This vast maritime trade was an obvious and attractive target for the Germans and they did come close to cutting the sea routes which would have starved Britain and could have forced surrender. The lack of adequate Coastal Command resources came very close to helping the Germans win the Battle of the Atlantic. The Royal Navy was very short of convoy escorts and extremely short of carriers. This meant that a large part of the Atlantic and much of the Indian Ocean and Pacific were completely without air cover. The Royal Navy responded by employing some desperate measures including fitting catapults to merchant ships and equipping them with worn out Hawker Hurricane fighters that were little better than suicide aircraft but worked in discouraging German long range aircraft. Some merchant ships were fitted with a flight deck to allow them to carry Swordfish torpedo bombers and single seat naval fighters. To these emergency measures was added the brilliant Escort Carrier that was basically a merchant ship rebuilt or constructed from scratch with a hanger and full flight deck. Then Coastal Command slowly began to receive modern long range landplanes and improved flying boats to close the Atlantic air gap. As the war progressed, the Coastal Command staff began to improve their co-ordination with the Royal Navy and the war began to turn against the U-boats. Thousands of lives, hundreds of ships and millions of tons of vital cargo could have been saved if the Royal Navy had either been given control of all naval aviation, or the RAF had taken its responsibilities seriously and established reliable co- operation with the RN from the start of hostilities. It was a case of politics being allowed to interfere with war planning and command. It just did not do justice to the aircrews who achieved in spite of the senior officers.