The Dawn of Carrier Strike, and the World of Lieutenant WP Lucy DSO RN

Another naval aviation history from the winning team of Commander Hobbs and Seaforth Publishing. This new book tells the story of the Royal Navy’s development of naval aviation as an effective and revolutionary weapon of war, also telling of the frustration by politicians who were more interested in spending illusory peace dividends – Most Highly Recommended

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NAME: The Dawn of Carrier Strike, and the World of Lieutenant WP Lucy DSO RN
FILE: R2839
AUTHOR: David Hobbs
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth Publishing
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 386
PRICE: £35.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Naval aviation, carriers, strike force, 1908 to WWII, fixed wing, heavier 
than air, RNAS, Fleet Air Arm,  British pioneers, attack aircraft, naval warfare, 
Royal Navy

ISBN: 978-1-4738-7992-8

IMAGE: B2839.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yyyec8pk
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:   Another naval aviation history from the winning team of 
Commander Hobbs and Seaforth Publishing. This new book tells the story of 
the Royal Navy's development of naval aviation as an effective and 
revolutionary weapon of war, also telling of the frustration by politicians who 
were more interested in spending illusory peace dividends – Most Highly 
Recommended

Commander Hobbs had a distinguished naval career as a pilot with over 800 carrier 
landings, responsibility for developing operating techniques for the Invincible Class 
VSTOL carriers, as RN representative on an Information Exchange Programme with 
the US Navy, involved in trials for the AV-8A at sea. On retirement, he worked for 8 
years as Curator of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton. This has been followed by 
a new career as an author of naval aviation histories. 

In this new book he reviews the Royal Navy's work in pioneering naval aviation. 
Although famous and controversial frigate captain (later Admiral) Cochrane wrote 
about the use of naval aviation and chemical weapons at the beginning of the 19th 
Century, and naval officers started taking flights in balloons less than half a century 
later, the RN began in earnest in 1903 with an intensive programme of tests with 
man-carrying kites, to be followed in 1908 with funding for a first airship and 1911 
with the first naval aviators' flying school. It is interesting to speculate on the effect 
on the conduct of WWI had the politicians not tried so hard to frustrate naval 
innovation and give the Army control of aviation.

The RN fought a determined battle with Westminster and regained control of their 
aircraft a month before the outbreak of WWI. They celebrated by successfully 
dropping the first torpedo from an aircraft and started putting in place all the plans 
carefully developed during the period from 1911. Unlike the Army, who were forced 
to buy lack lustre designs from the Government Aircraft Factory, the RN used trusted 
defence contractors. The result was that the Army went to war in 1914 with flimsy 
slow unarmed reconnaissance aircraft, but the RNAS went to war in real weapons 
systems, aircraft able to drop bombs, depth bombs, torpedoes and fire bullets. The 
equipment was advanced, but the RNAS had also developed the tactics, manuals and 
training to successfully employ their aircraft in support of the objectives set for the 
Fleet.

During WWI, the RNAS and the RN developed the carrier aircraft to fly on and off 
wheeled land planes with the vessels underway. Just before the formation of the RAF 
in 1918, the RNAS had developed a detailed plan for a carrier strike force to attack 
the German High Seas Fleet in port. The RAF failed to go forward with these plans 
and it had to wait for the RN to regain control once more of its aircraft and dust the 
plans off in WWII to attack the Italian Fleet in port, providing lessons the Japanese 
were quick to pick up for their attack on the US Pacific Fleet in port.

In this new book the author takes the story through from the unique and dominant 
position of British naval aviation, through the largely wasted years without control 
of the aircraft to the belated return of control in 1938 and the urgent RN activity to 
get its Fleet Ar Arm ready for war in an impossibly short period. The experiences 
have been well illustrated by the experiences of Lieutenant Lucy who became the 
first accredited air 'ace' of WWII, making extensive use of the family archive with 
many previously unpublished photographs from the Lucy album.

As to be expected from this author the research is impeccable and the very able text 
is well-supported by a great selection of images.