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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You shall go to the Ball
The Cinderella Service-RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 by Andrew Hendrie. Published by Pen & Sword 2006/10. ISBN 9781848842021

It's with some shame that it has taken over 65yrs before a truly competent & detailed publication has appeared about the exploits of RAF Coastal Command. It's more favoured kin of Fighter & Bomber Commands, have been almost exhaustively...
Published 13 months ago by Andy Hill

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge this book by its cover!
Although I found this book very interesting and enjoyed reading it, it reads exactly for what it is, a PhD thesis, full of facts and figures but very little in the way of human interest. I was looking for something more in keeping with the books cover, descriptions and stories of Coastal Commands actions against the enemy and an insight into the characters involved of...
Published 10 months ago by CJP0349


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You shall go to the Ball, 7 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 (Paperback)
The Cinderella Service-RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 by Andrew Hendrie. Published by Pen & Sword 2006/10. ISBN 9781848842021

It's with some shame that it has taken over 65yrs before a truly competent & detailed publication has appeared about the exploits of RAF Coastal Command. It's more favoured kin of Fighter & Bomber Commands, have been almost exhaustively mined over the intervening decades, yet bar for the odd book here & there Coastal Commands efforts & history have been sidelined to a few sentences or notations. Hendrie's book will remain the unofficial history of Coastal Command for many a year, and it will fly that flag with pride, for such is the quality of Hendrie's work.

We see how Coastal Command grew from a motley collection of some 240 odd wholly unsuitable aircraft for the most part in 1939. To a large efficient machine of around 1000 modern aircraft, with many specialist features & missions to boot. The book is broken down into 9 chapters, with the first two covering aircraft types & weapons accordingly. We see how Coastal Command struggled to get the aircraft it required, especially in the face of determined opposition from Bomber Command and also to some extent Churchill himself. The early make do collection was gradually replaced by more usable types, able to perform the tasks asked of it. Weaponry, as in any war develops at a pace and that was no different here. The aerial depth charge being Coastal Commands prime weapon is discussed in some depth, along with torpedoes, rockets and guns. The author makes due note of the initiative shown by the men of 10 Sqn RAAF, who employed some 18 machine guns on some of there aircraft early in the war, before being reined in by the powers that be.
After these 2 opening chapters we get into the meat of the book, the operational aspect. This is neatly sub-divided into Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), covered in Chapters 3 & 4), with chapters 5 & 6 covering Anti-Shipping (Merchant) and Anti-Shipping (Naval). The ASW chapters covers the Air Gap in the Atlantic, the Bay of Biscay campaign, operations in the Meditterean Sea and finally the coastal campaigns along NW Europe/Norway in the latter yrs of the war. The Anti-Shipping chapters concentrates upon a more limited geographical area but equally as interesting and even more dangerous. We see the formation of Strike Wings that tore into Axis coastal shipping and the perilous task of attacking German surface vessels-off all sizes. Chapter 7 deals with the less glamorous and even less publicised areas of Air-Sea Rescue, Photo Recon and finally Meteorological services. All of these lesser facets helped square the circle of Coastal Commands place & voice during the war.

With the final 2 chapters covering a retrospective angle and a conclusion, we are left with a plethora of some 21 Appendices, which cover and detail out the various results & consequences from the previous chapters. These alone are worth the book price alone in my opinion. The book is fully referenced & noted, with some 59 B/W photographs & illustrations, plus 3 maps to help the narrative along.

If any official history is ever wrote about Coastal Command, the this book will be heavily referenced in it, its that good.
5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great gift of remembrance, 6 Nov 2013
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These books have been given to our grandsons on behalf of my father who is 97, as Christening presents so that one day they will learn what their great grandfather did in the war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge this book by its cover!, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 (Paperback)
Although I found this book very interesting and enjoyed reading it, it reads exactly for what it is, a PhD thesis, full of facts and figures but very little in the way of human interest. I was looking for something more in keeping with the books cover, descriptions and stories of Coastal Commands actions against the enemy and an insight into the characters involved of which there is unfortunately very little.
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2.0 out of 5 stars He was there and I wasn't, 4 Mar 2014
By 
Don Davis (Coulsdon, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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The author was part of it all whereas I wasn't even born at the time, so there's more than an element of lese majestie in someone like me presuming to comment on his work. Nevertheless the book disappointed me; though it was full of information, and he brought out strongly much of the politics and strategy behind the operation of Coastal, there was a distinct lack of human interest. There were flashes of it - such as where he mentions a Coastal pilot dropping a life-raft for the crew of the U-boat he'd just sunk - but dry tables of casualties really told me nothing about the men who served in Coastal, neither aircrew nor groundcrew; I wanted to know who they were, what life was like for them, and how they coped with the conditions and the risks - none of which were really touched on. Also the material seemed poorly organised - indeed it seemed at times that the author had so far lost track of the structure he'd planned that in places he wandred far away from the chapter headings and repeated points he'd already sufficiently established in earlier chapters, which became tedious. In summary, a book packed with information but without bringing the people to life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to the history and development of RAF Coastal Command and therefore on the development of ASW., 27 Oct 2013
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Mr. Stuart Sanders (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 (Paperback)
Based on his PhD thesis this had the potential to be a very dry read, but in fact it is not.

A bit light on the technical developments of ASW, especially ASV radar - read it in conjunction with Alfred Price's "Instruments of Darkness".

Would also have benefited from more consideration of ASW in the Mediterranean and the Pacific but that is strictly outside of his remit and covered in his other books.

Nevertheless a good starting point for the missing history of RAF Coastal Command.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Information., 13 Aug 2013
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It is a mine of facts for anyone wanting the details of Coastal Command's service in WW2 and a great reference book for the military historian.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Truly The Cinderella Service, 25 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 (Paperback)
Having served with the RAF in Coastal Command I found the book very interesting but there was a lot of detail that sometimes detracted from the flow of the text.

However I would recommend it to people who want to get a deeper understanding of what the Coastal Command Aiorcrews had to go through to get the job done.
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4.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING, 18 Jun 2013
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D. O'Mahony (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 (Paperback)
This is a book that fills in a lot of gaps in WWII RAF aviation history which I found very interesting, especially the details of some of the minutes of meetings where decisions were made, that in hind-sight seem odd to say the least. Actually I caught myself wondering how the Battle of the Atlantic was won, with some of the decisions. the book details the equipment, armament etc used by Coastal Command and other lists all very interesting.
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The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945
The Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 by Andrew W.A. Hendrie (Paperback - 18 Feb 2010)
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