Torpedo Bombers, 1900-1950, An Illustrated History

The story of the torpedo bomber has never been told before in the clear and comprehensive manner of this new book. The air-launched torpedo claimed its first victims in the early part of |WWI, in WWII at Taranto and Pearl Harbour it decimated the might of two navies, but by 1945 it was a weapon system on its way out . – Most Highly Recommended.

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NAME:   Torpedo Bombers, 1900-1950, An Illustrated History
FILE: R3183
AUTHOR: Jean-Denis LePage
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword 
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £30.00                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:   Locomotive torpedo, 18” torpedo, air-launched torpedo, torpedo bomber, 
strike on Taranto, strike on Pearl Harbour, first aerial torpedo sinking, seaplanes, land 
planes, carrier aircraft, spotter/attack aircraft, piston engines, biplanes, monoplanes, 
turbo-prop, rockets, WWI, WWII, World War One, World War Two, First World War, 
Second World War, Cold War, nuclear warfare, missiles

ISBN: 1-52676-347-8

PAGES: 394
IMAGE: B3183.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y8pzkx7z
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The story of the torpedo bomber has never been told before in the 
clear and comprehensive manner of this new book. The air-launched torpedo 
claimed its first victims in the early part of |WWI, in WWII at Taranto and 
at Pearl Harbour it decimated the might of two navies, but by 1945 it was a 
weapon system on its way out . – Most Highly Recommended.


The locomotive torpedo was to revolutionize naval warfare and cause a major change in the balance of power. It was an ideal weapon for the submarine allowing a small craft with a small crew to destroy the most powerful and costly battleship. It was to be used widely on much larger surface craft where it became an important weapon even for armoured cruisers, either fired from tubes built into the hull below the water line or mounted on deck, usually in trainable multi-tube launchers. By 1900 it was established in service with most navies and starting to equip very small fast attack craft that were far cheaper than a submarine and ideal for the equipment of Coastal Forces. Adding it to aircraft was a logical step but, initially, the first aircraft were too flimsy and unable to carry much payload beyond the pilot. When the Royal Navy trained its first aviators in 1911, they were set the task of planning what roles aircraft could best suit, within the overall missions assigned to the Fleet. From that early stage the first British naval aviators recommended that aircraft could be used for reconnaissance and gunnery spotting but should primarily be designed as weapons systems capable of fighting the potential enemies.

After a hard fought political battle the RN regained full control of its naval aviation assets just weeks before the outbreak of WWI, celebrating with the first successful launch of a torpedo from an aircraft. Before the end of WWI, the Royal Navy planned a carrier group attack on the German Navy in port, but the formation of the RAF in early 1918 put a stop to the first strategic use of torpedo bombers.

Between the wars everyone wanted to build dive bombers and torpedo planes for use in naval warfare. The biplane soldiered on it this role long after it ceased as a frontline aircraft in other roles. When the RN dusted down its 1917 plans for a strategic carrier attack to neutralize the Italian navy, it was to be the biplane Swordfish that led the attack and changed the balance of power in the Mediterranean. The Japanese were inspired by this strategic strike to plan their attack on the US Pacific Fleet to buy the time to complete their amphibious assaults on pacific islands and neighbouring countries. The US Navy struck back in a series of major battles at sea, using torpedo bombers as the key element of their attack forces.

Then by 1950, the torpedo bomber was obsolete, replaced by nuclear weapons and a growing range of rockets and guided missiles launched from aircraft. The last torpedo attack aircraft for the RN was the turbo prop Wyvern which was a large single seat aircraft with an unusual power plant. In the event when it joined RN carriers it had a short service life as a fleet fighter filling a brief gap as the second generation jet aircraft became available.

Fascinating story, told well and supported by a wealth of rare and unique illustration. Definitely a must-buy book for enthusiasts and professionals, but also a very interesting read for anyone with any aviation interests.