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An academic review of Coastal Command from one who served at the sharp end.
on 5 February 2017
This is a book which is based on the authors academic work as an adult student doing a degree course relating to his own war time experiences in the UK's Coastal Command during WWII. As such it fills a gap left by the lack of an official history of Coastal Command, proof of the author's assertion in the title. It is a very factual work, full of appendices, lists and references, and unfortunately is therefore a very 'dry' read. It also repeats the same information ad-infinitum, to the point where you find yourself anticipating the examples about to be used, and the same names cropping up repeatedly in respect of policy and management of the service. It lacks much detail about the writer's own experiences and operations, which I wanted to read more about, but it does set out the full strategic situation Coastal Command were operating under, hence the title of the book. This is a book for those with WWII academic interests, and in that regard it does show how near the UK came to defeat in the battle of the Atlantic, and the horrendous losses our services and the aircrew from around the Commonwealth endured to win through. As one of the men who put his life on the line constantly through that period, and faced horrendous odds against survival, I applaud him for that service and writing this book, but would love to see a version written from his personal experience directly - like a diary dramatisation perhaps. I would certainly buy a copy!