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Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939 - 1945: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 by [Hendrie, Andrew]
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Cinderella Service: RAF Coastal Command 1939 - 1945: RAF Coastal Command 1939-1945 Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Hendrie has had several books published on WWII aviation including The Hudson and The Sunderland. He served in Coastal Command from 1939 and flew operationally from 1942 to 1945. This book is based on a thesis that he completed for a PhD just prior to his recent death.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3667 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword (19 July 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DN5TYQA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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This Book has had poor reviews from some for being to dry and full of figures and lists. Please read the info this is what this book is about the facts and figures of Coastal Commands war it can be dry but figures are it covers what happened how it happened what aircraft they did or in the early days did not have. It will show you how the service grew into the sub hunters the U Boats feared. The book was bought as a present for a man who is serious about the Sunderland flying boat he has service information and many books and DVD's this book scratched his itch. For someone who is into history this is worth the time to get into it. It does have some really interesting reports and information which the writer spent many years searching for. So enjoy the book for what it is and do read the info, if its facts and figures as well as stories you want then this takes some beating
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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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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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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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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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