11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2002
I got this book from my local library and since then have tried unsuccessfully to buy it. It is a detailed and thought provoking review of the history of the Royal Navy's experience with aviation. Challenging many common views about the Royal Navy's conservative approach it shows that, within the constraints of politics and funding the Admiralty showed considerable innovation and was air minded.
Written by an well known American author this is the book to read about the development of carrier aviation within the Royal Navy and complements his other books, Carrier Air Power and the various Design Histories he has written about the United States Navy. However unlike his book 'US Carriers' here he also covers the philosophy and development of the aircraft planned and used by the Royal Navy, giving this book an extra dimmension.
One point is that this book was written in 1988 and therefore does not cover subsequent operations or the current plans to build new carriers. It may be time for a revised edition.
Very enjoyable to read, this book is essential for any serious student of the Royal Navy in the Twentieth Century and particularly Carrier Aviation. It should be read in conjunction with 'The Design and Construction of British Warships 1939-1945 Vol.1 Major Surface Warships' edited by D K Brown for the official view of the design history of the vessels actually placed in service. Other books of interest are 'From Nelson to Vanguard' by D K Brown and 'Eclipse of the Big Gun' and 'Navies in the Nuclear Age' both part of 'The History of Ships' series edited by Robert Gardiner.