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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.
The recent 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, combined with the threat of significant cuts to the current RAF, have highlighted the importance of Fighter Command in the early days of World War II once more. The role of the "few", as described by Churchill, during the Battle of Britain has been the subject of much mythologizing both at the time and in the years since.This title will put Fighter Command in context; describing the lack of funding and attention which it received during the interwar period, until it was almost too late. The myth of the fighter pilot will be humanized, with first-hand accounts quoted which put nervous but brave human beings from all walks of life in the cockpit, not the fearless, arrogant public school boys who appear in popular fiction. Although the Battle of Britain may not have in itself been the decisive encounter that it has historically been portrayed as, the moral victory won by the RAF, the victory that proved that Germany could be defeated, was just as important as a military-strategic victory.Other aspects of these early days of Fighter Command will also be given a more detailed exploration - the obsolete but tenacious Gladiators over Norway, the Hurricanes in support of the BEF and air cover over Dunkirk. Thus giving a rounded picture of the early years and development of Fighter Command and its pilots.
Osprey's survey of the Royal Naval Air Service pilot during World War I (1914-1918). In 1914 the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps was subsumed into the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). With the bulk of the Royal Flying Corps engaged in France, the aircraft and seaplane pilots of the RNAS protected Britain from the deadly and terrifying Zeppelin menace. In 1915 the RNAS sent aircraft to support the operations in the Dardanelles, and also gave increasing support to the Royal Flying Corps units engaged on the Western Front, conducting reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and artillery spotting, bombing raids, and aerial combat with German pilots. This book explores all of these fascinating areas, and charts the pioneering role of the RNAS in military aviation.
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