Images of War, Coastal Command’s Air War Against the German U-boat, rare photographs from wartime archives

B2110

The story of how the RAF fought to deny the Royal Navy control of naval aviation is more damging because the RAF had little interest in providing adequate aircraft. Fortunately, the RN was able to regain control of shipboard aircraft before the start of WWII and had always retained control of development and deployment of aircraft carriers. However, the RAF managed to convince the politicians to let them keep flying boats and land aircraft for maritime patrol and attack. They then gave this duty the lowest priority for re-equipment. That shameful neglect was to a degree compensated by the extreme courage of RAF aircrew who were charged initially with a task for which they lacked adequate equipment. This book tells the positive story in concise text and outstanding photographs. Whatever politicians and senior RAF officers may have thought in 1939, the RAF story is incomplete without the inspiring story of the crews of Coastal Command.

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NAME: Images of War, Coastal Command’s Air War Against the German U-boat, rare photographs from wartime archives
DATE: 081214
FILE: R2110
AUTHOR: Norman Franks
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 356
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, U-boats, anti-submarine warfare, convoy defence, reconnaissance, maritime surveillance, bombs, depth bombs, radar, search light, Leigh Light
ISBN: 1-78383-183-9
IMAGE: B2110.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/p58gpmy
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The story of how the RAF fought to deny the Royal Navy control of naval aviation is more damaging because the RAF had little interest in providing adequate aircraft. Fortunately, the RN was able to regain control of shipboard aircraft before the start of WWII and had always retained control of development and deployment of aircraft carriers. However, the RAF managed to convince the politicians to let them keep flying boats and land aircraft for maritime patrol and attack. They then gave this duty the lowest priority for re-equipment. That shameful neglect was to a degree compensated by the extreme courage of RAF aircrew who were charged initially with a task for which they lacked adequate equipment. This book tells the positive story in concise text and outstanding photographs. Whatever politicians and senior RAF officers may have thought in 1939, the RAF story is incomplete without the inspiring story of the crews of Coastal Command.

Coastal Command started the war with an odd job collection of biplanes and aircraft built as trainers and passenger aircraft. The most serious deficiency was the total lack of long range aircraft that could provide cover to convoys for the full width of the Atlantic. Initially, the air gap was considerable and helped only by the occupation of Iceland which allowed an extension of cover from the British Isles. In spite of this situation, Coastal Command crews began to make a mark. One Hudson, a conversion of the Lockheed Electra twin engine passenger plane, even managed to capture a U-boat, forcing it to surface and holding it until surface vessels could reach it and bring it in to an Allied harbour.

As the war progressed, the RN started to fill the Gap using escort carriers and MAC ships to shadow and attack U-boats, and to fight off German maritime patrol aircraft. The RAF then began to receive more heavy bombers from American and British factories than it could use in the strategic bombing of German. These modern surplus aircraft were handed down to Coastal Command and closed the Gap. The B-24 Liberator proved a very successful maritime patrol aircraft and was later joined by B-17 Flying Fortresses sent to the RAF, but not required as bombers, and the outstanding Avro Lancaster.

There were some notable successes and surprise performers. The Sunderland flying boat, derived from the Empire Class passenger aircraft, proved highly successful. The Whitley bomber was obsolescent at the start of WWII as a strategic bomber, but proved a very suitable maritime patrol and attack aircraft. As mentioned above, the tubby Hudson was also a great success.

This book contains some rare photographs of Coastal Command aircraft and crew and their quarry, the U-boats and their crews. This is a great book. It tells an under-told story well, and it is not only applicable to enthusiasts, but a very useful introduction for the new reader of air war books.

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