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A Dictionary of Coastal Command 1939 - 1945 (Hardback)


By Geoff Simpson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 151
ISBN: 9781473872714
Published: 27th February 2017


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An alphabetical account of the part played by the ‘Kipper Fleet’ during the Second World War. Coastal Command often lacked resources compared with other home commands, giving it its other nickname of the ‘Cinderella Service’. Its main role was defensive – that of protecting Britain’s vital seaborne supply lines in home waters as well as in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and around the coasts of Africa.

Thel Command also acted in an offensive capacity, particularly in the so-called ‘Battle of the Barges’ in 1940 which helped deter Hitler from invading the UK, and in the Mediterranean and the Baltic, attacking German shipping. Coastal Command, however, is most usually remembered for the war against the U-boats, one that was eventually won.

From A to Z this well-illustrated book tells the story of the gallantry, the achievements, the losses, the VCs, the aircraft and much else about RAF Coastal Command.

Author article 'Battle of the Atlantic - A Crucial Victory' as featured by

Pathfinder International, June 2018

Author featured as expert in 'Your Q&As: advice'

Family Tree, July 2018

For a maritime nation Coastal Command is an invaluable strategic asset, and this book reminds us of the vital role it played in WWII assisting the RN in defeating the U-Boat. A fitting tribute to an arm of the RAF that made a major contribution to the war effort and one doesn't deserve its 'Cinderella' sobriquet.

Scuttlebutt Edition 55

Overall, the entries are well written and appropriately illustrated, and one way or another all aspects of Coastal Command appear to be covered.

Warship World, July/August 2017

A fitting tribute to an arm of the RAF that made a major contribution to the war effort and one doesn’t deserve its “Cinderella” soubriquet.


My uncle John (Walter) Kimber was a pilot in Coastal Command during the war...and that's all I know about him. There is simply no record of him in the military archives held by Ancestry, although there is obviously a record of his birth, and of his marriage, late in life, to Marion Noble. I live in hope that one day a book will be published about Brirtain's Coastal Command that refers to him by name - he's not in this one, but I'm sure it will happen one day! He was always my hero, and this superb record of Coastal Command is testament to the contribution these brave men made to the war.

Books Monthly

This new book provides a very different approach to presenting the story of Coastal Command, with a good selection of images. The Royal Navy was able to regain control of most British naval aviation in 1938. The exception was Coastal Command which remained part of the RAF. A very readable book that is engrossing but which can be dipped into as required. A valuable companion to any collection of WWII aviation books.

Read the full review here.

 Geoff Simpson

About Geoff Simpson

Geoff Simpson is a freelance writer who has studied the RAF in the Second World War for many years. His previous books for Pen and Sword are Guy Gibson: Dam Buster (2013) and A History of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association: Commemorating the Few (2015).
Geoff is Historical Consultant to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, edits the magazine 1940 for the Trust and is a member of the Royal Historical Society. He is married with two adult children and lives in Hazel Grove near Stockport.

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