The British Fleet Air Arm in World War II

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Overview

This is a concise history of the Royal Navy's air arm during World War II (1939-1945), from the Arctic convoys, to the battle for Malta, to the last raids on Japan. The contribution of British Naval aviation to the ultimate Allied victory cannot be underestimated. Amazingly the Admiralty only had 406 operational pilots and 8 carriers when war broke out, but a mere 6 years later there were over 3,000 operational pilots and 53 aircraft carriers patrolling the seas in every theater of the war. The author charts the ...
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The British Fleet Air Arm in World War II

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Overview

This is a concise history of the Royal Navy's air arm during World War II (1939-1945), from the Arctic convoys, to the battle for Malta, to the last raids on Japan. The contribution of British Naval aviation to the ultimate Allied victory cannot be underestimated. Amazingly the Admiralty only had 406 operational pilots and 8 carriers when war broke out, but a mere 6 years later there were over 3,000 operational pilots and 53 aircraft carriers patrolling the seas in every theater of the war. The author charts the rapid evolution of the Fleet Air Arm during the war years as air power took over the cutting edge of naval warfare from surface battleships. The carriers were in action from the first with actions by HMS Ark Royal and Courageous in September 1939 to the major actions of the carrier force off Japan in the closing days of the war. This book offers a complete overview from recruitment and training to the thrilling accounts of operational successes and failures. Discover some of the most dramatic actions of the war as Royal Navy aces battled against Axis forces scoring both the first and last kills of the war.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Of particular interest to figure modelers are the number of illustrations that show the various types of uniforms worn during this period of time. It is a book that should find interest with all readers. A book you'll enjoy reading and one that I can recommend to you along with any other Osprey title."- Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (June 2008)

"From the Arctic convoys, to the battle of Malta, and the last raids on Japan, this concise history of the Royal Navy's air arm details some of the most dramatic actions of World War II as Royal Navy aces battled against the Axis forces - scoring both the first and last kills of the war!" -Game Trade Magazine (April 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846032837
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Series: Elite Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Lieutenant Mark Barber RN is a pilot based at RNAS Culdrose. His dissertation on the Fleet Air Arm in the Mediterranean in World War II was named as the best in the year at the Royal Navy academy, Dartmouth. He was named Best Aircrew Officer upon graduation of his class. His unlimited access to Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm museum records and photos, has resulted in a book that is a worthy addition to the annals of British naval aviation. The author lives in Cornwall, UK.

Stephen Walsh studied art at the North East Wales Institute. Since then he has worked mainly for the American historical board-game market, fulfilling a lifelong interest in historical subjects. His American works include the best-selling Settlers of Catan. He has also produced many pieces of artwork inspired by J R R Tolkien. Stephen Walsh lives in Macclesfield, UK.

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Table of Contents


Origins of the Air Branch     3
World War I
The interwar years
Recruitment & Training     8
Pilots
Observers
Telegraphist Air Gunners
Mechanics
Fighter direction officers - deck landing control officers
Meteorologists
Women's Royal Naval Service
Command Structure     18
Chain of command
Squadron composition
Embarked air groups
Mixed squadrons
Squadron numbering & markings
Campaigns     27
1939: the Western Approaches
1940: Norway - France & the Battle of Britain - the Mediterranean: Force H - the Taranto raid
1941: the Mediterranean - the Bismark
1942: the 'Channel Dash' - the Malta convoys - Operation 'Torch'
1943: Sicily & Italy - Victorious in the Far East
1944: the Tirpitz raids - the Normandy landings - Operation 'Dragoon'
1944-45: the British Pacific Fleet: the East Indies - Okinawa - Japan
Tactics     55
Torpedo-bombers - dive-bombers - fighters
Sources & Select Bibliography     59
Plate Commentaries     60
Index     64
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