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100 YEARS OF BRITISH NAVAL AVIATION

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    Posted: 20 Oct 2009 at 12:51
100 YEARS OF BRITISH NAVAL AVIATION100 YEARS OF BRITISH NAVAL AVIATION
 
Christopher Shores, Haynes Publishing, Sparkford, Yeovil, BA22 7JJ, 311pp, 240x290mm, hardback. ISBN 978-1-84425-661-7, £35.00
Click on the cover to buy this book from Amazon!

This magnificent book has been published in collaboration with the Royal Navy to celebrate the centenary of British naval flying. The task of writing the book was placed in the safe hands of Christopher Shores, whose track record needs no explaining, and the author traces the development of naval aviation from the Mayfly, ordered in May 1909, to the prospect of two new ‘super carriers’, HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, operating the Joint Strike Fighter.

We are given a balanced history of the subject, with our period receiving due coverage that amounts to approximately one fifth of the book. The development of the RNAS, the operations it conducted and the technological developments it engendered are all here, with little to be faulted.

The fascinating inter-war period, that saw the emergence of the Fleet Air Arm, leads on from this and the Second World War, with so many operations to be described, takes up the central third of the volume. Post-war developments and the Korean, Suez and Falkland conflicts are detailed but the reader is also reminded of the many minor engagements that the FAA was also involved in as the world order changed.
 
The outstanding feature of the book is the presentation of illustrations. The author had access to the FAAM collection and has selected hundreds of brilliant photographs, some in colour, which have been chosen to give coverage to just about every type operated. They have been presented at generous sizes and many are artistically classic shots. Admittedly, there’s nothing much new for our period but lots of unique photographs of post-1918 types.

The text and photographs are supported by maps (including one of UK WW1 flying sites), orders of battle and tabulations of relevant information; such as top WW1 naval aces ‘aces’, comparative performances of naval aircraft and FAA contribution to the Battle of Britain.

This is a book which can be whole-heartedly recommended to anyone wanting a clear, authoritative overview of its subject matter.
 
JMD, Volume 40 Number 3


Edited by AndyK - 20 Oct 2009 at 12:53
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