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The Author begins this fascinating book by tracing aircraft carrier development between the Wars and describing their revolutionary but uneven introduction into the leading navies of the world. Eschewed by the Germans and Italians and, with Britain squandering her early lead, the Americans and Japanese quickly became front runners. The Royal Navy learnt the hard way in the early stages of the Second World War with the losses of HMS Courageous and Glorious.
However successes at Taranto and Matapan confirmed the strategic and tactical value of carriers. The role of carrier-borne aircraft in the demise of Bismarck effectively signalled the end of the Battleship era. Stung by such catastrophic losses from Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbour, the Americans threw their full industrial might behind the carrier building programme and the ensuing naval war in the Pacific (Guadalcanal, East Solomon Islands, Santa Cruz, Midway and Leyte Gulf) revolved round carrier-borne aircraft. Meanwhile the carrier became pivotal in protecting vital convoys in the Atlantic, Arctic and Mediterranean.
In this hugely informative and interesting analysis of sea power in war, the author, a respected military, naval and aviation historian, backs his arguments and enlivens the narrative with copious and stirring accounts of historic naval and air actions.
As seen in the 14th Carrier Air Group Reunion Association Newsletter.
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