This book is probably the most comprehensive study of naval aviation and the importance of the fighter to provide defence to a fleet. The author has produced extensive notes, bibliography, data and index to help the reader find a way through the considerable amount of detail on naval aviation from the major navies – Most Recommended
NAME: Fighters over the Fleet, Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War FILE: R2445 AUTHOR: Norman Friedman PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth BINDING: hard back PAGES: 460 PRICE: £45.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Naval aviation, carriers, battle groups, air cover, new capital ships, first flights, biplanes, monoplanes, jet aircraft, fighter direction ISBN: 978-1-84832-404-6 IMAGE: B2445.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/hjbz8a4 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This book is probably the most comprehensive study of naval aviation and the importance of the fighter to provide defence to a fleet. The author has produced extensive notes, bibliography, data and index to help the reader find a way through the considerable amount of detail on naval aviation from the major navies - Most Recommended A sad aspect of reviewing books is the shrinking availability of lending and reference libraries in many countries. With a book of this quality, the price is inevitably beyond many pockets and particularly of young readers. This book is an excellent starting point for every young reader who wishes to develop an understanding of the amazing development of aviation. The publisher is well-known for aggressive marketing and discounting of its books and this will ease the situation but not eliminate it. The reviewer's advice to young readers is to try to find a way to buy a copy of this book because it is the most complete and multi-national work on the subject. For enthusiasts and professionals, it is not so much an issue. However extensive a personal or corporate library, this is a book that must be on the shelves. Three nations shaped naval aviation. The US Navy and the Royal Navy were at the forefront of development from the beginning and from time to time swapped technology and technique. Within just a few years of the Wright Brothers first flight, these two navies were making the first flights from ships and the Royal Navy opened its first flying school in 1911 to train naval officers. This enabled the Royal Navy to consider how to make best use of aircraft to help it fulfil the missions which it would be tasked with. The result was that the Royal Navy broke free, of political attempts to constrain it under War Office control, to establish the Royal Naval Air Service, only weeks before the outbreak of WWI. This in turn resulted in the RNAS having aircraft built by commercial defence contractors and delivered as integrated weapon systems that could fight surface and submarine warships, aid naval blockade, fight enemy airships and conduct tactical and strategic bombing raids on German targets. By contrast, the Royal Flying Corps had to live with frail and obsolescent aircraft designed and produced by the Government Aircraft Factory. These aircraft were only intended as aerial scouts searching for intelligence on enemy troop locations, movements and strength. The impetus of war took the Royal Navy some way ahead of the US Navy during WWI. This lead was to be frittered away as the politicians again forced the army and naval aviators together in the new RAF. However, the Royal Navy retained control of aircraft carrier development and fought a guerilla war to regain control of naval aviation which it eventually won in 1938 in time to prepare for WWII. The Americans very wisely allowed their military aviation to develop within the well-established family of military commands. The result was that the US Navy was not only able to fund much larger aircraft carriers, but also move much faster to a metal monoplane force of carrier aircraft and to retain control of shore-based land planes and seaplanes for maritime reconnaissance and attack. The third nation was Japan. This country recognized the power of naval aviation in future battles and built an impressive fleet of aircraft carriers with a range of competent to outstanding naval aircraft. The Japanese observed US and British developments in naval aviation and in particular drew inspiration from the British Fleet Air Arm's attack on the Italian Fleet in harbour. This attack had been based on plans draw up in 1917 to destroy the German Fleet in harbour, using fighters and attack planes flown from a carrier battle group. This planned attack did not take place because the formation of the RAF resulted in a lack of understanding and interest in the well-developed plans and equipment of the Royal Navy to wage tactical and strategic attacks as a new battle front on Germany. The success of the raid on the Italian Fleet was used by the Japanese as a template for their plans to attack the US Pacific Fleet in port in Pearl Harbour. The end of WWII saw naval aviation based on carrier fleets reduced to the US Navy and the Royal Navy, although several countries experimented with naval aviation on a much smaller scale. Before the end of WWII, the Royal Navy had already operated jet aircraft and helicopters from ships at sea and were responsible for some of the vital innovations that would make possible the operation of heavy jet aircraft from ships. The angled flight deck was a significant step forward for safety and improved operational rate. The mirror landing system was a similar major step forward and the steam catapult proved the answer to launching much heavier aircraft with success at sea. Later, the Royal Navy pioneered the introduction of VSTOL fighters and invention of the ski-ramp to allow VSTOL launches at full fuel and weapons load. This made possible the rapid deployment of a Task Force to the Falkland Islands to eject the Argentinian invaders 8,000 miles from home. In time, aerial refuelling and radar were to dramatically increase the power of naval aviation. These larger faster jets could carry conventional and nuclear weapons, making British and American carriers the most powerful and flexible warships ever built. The author has been able to present this amazing process of development and illustrate the text with some fine images.