The Dauntless In Battle

This is a very welcome updated and expanded edition of a best selling book published in 1997. The author has produced a extensively researched complete history of the famous SBD Dauntless dive bomber, hero of the Battle of Midway . – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: The Dauntless In Battle 
FILE: R3042
AUTHOR: Peter C Smith
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: Hard back
PRICE: £19.99                                                                
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World War, 
Pacific Theatre, USN, USMC, Japanese, carrier fleets, carrier task groups, naval 
aviation, dive bombers, fighters, torpedo planes, carriers, escorts, SBD, Dauntless, 
Slow But Deadly

ISBN: 1-52670-460-9

IMAGE: B3042.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/sof9vgr

PAGES: 240
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: This is a very welcome updated and expanded edition of a best 
selling book published in 1997. The author has produced a extensively researched 
complete history of the famous SBD Dauntless dive bomber, hero of the Battle of 
Midway . – Very Highly Recommended.

The dive bomber was a popular aircraft type for several countries between the wars. 
The aircraft were not speedy, except in the dive attack. They worked well where their 
air force had established air superiority but they were vulnerable to determined fighter 
attack. The Royal Navy received the Blackburn Skua, which was an excellent design 
at the time it was offered, but it suffered from the dead hand of the RAF who still 
controlled all British military aviation at that time. The Royal Navy wanted a dive 
bomber to operate from aircraft carriers, which is what Blackburn wanted to deliver, 
but the RAF latched onto the RN's secondary requirement for an aircraft that could be 
used at sea as a fighter, until a better aircraft could be acquired to fill that role. The 
Skua did perform surprisingly well initially as a fighter, far better than the Blackburn 
Roc Fleet Fighter that was based on the Skua but mounting the heavy four gun power 
turret as its only armament, once more a result of RAF interference, inspired by their 
equally dismal Bolton Paul Defiant Bomber Destroyer. The four gun turret had a 
limited field of fire and the weight of turret and gunner significantly reduced an 
already poor speed.

The US Navy and US Marine Corps were luckier in that they had fighter development 
underway that had already produced the Wildcat and was to continue with the more 
advanced and capable Hellcat and Corsair in the fighter and fighter bomber rolls, 
leaving the Dauntless to concentrate on dive bombing. Even so, its performance made 
it vulnerable to the light, fast, and nimble Japanese Zero fighter. It also produced luke 
warm enthusiasm when offered to the Royal Navy.

The Dauntless did have its stronger points, being a rugged shipboard aircraft that 
could accept battle damage and still return to its carrier. What really made the 
Dauntless a battle winning aircraft was its crews. USN, USMC and NZAF crews 
demonstrated courage and determination that made the Dauntless the hero of actions 
in the Pacific against the Japanese. At Midway it dealt a death blow to Japanese naval 
aviation and secured victory for the Allies. It then served on through the island-
hopping campaign that reached to the doorstep of the Japanese home islands. Whether 
it would have continued so strongly is debatable, had the Japanese been able to build 
replacement aircraft and crew them with experienced pilots. As it was, Midway 
marked the end point where the Japanese had skilled, fully trained and battle hardened 
pilots. From Midway, the Japanese lost aircraft and pilots faster than they could
 replacement them. The Kamikaze was an acceptance that the only way that Japan 
could continue was to train pilots well enough to take off, find a target and try to crash 
into it. There simply was not the time, or resources, to build enough aircraft and 
adequately train pilots, while the Allies grew stronger, out producing Japan in aircraft, 
and expanding its force of hardened pilots.

The author is a leading specialist in his field and a hallmark is the level of research 
that he puts into the development of each book. His 1997 edition of the Dauntless 
history was regarded as the definitive work on the subject. This edition has taken the 
work to a new level. It is difficult to see how he, or any other author, will be able to 
better the work.