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Atlantic Linchpin (Hardback)

The Azores in Two World Wars

WWII Maritime WWI Seaforth Naval 19th Century

By Guy Warner, Foreword by Hugo Miguel Baptista Cabral
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 200 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399010900
Published: 4th October 2021


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On a map the Azores appear as nine tiny specks in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but their location was to prove strategically vital in two world wars The Atlantic became a crucial battleground twice within the space of 25 years, as the US ‘arsenal of democracy’ sent firstly stores, arms and equipment, followed by many thousands of troops to fight in Europe. In both desperate and closely fought struggles at sea, Germany sought to stem the flow and thereby win the war, by cutting this vital lifeline, using a new weapon – the ocean-going submarine.

In the First World War the Azores became a mid-Atlantic refuelling location, a base for US and Portuguese naval vessels and – in a hugely innovative contribution to the anti-submarine war – for the patrol seaplanes and flying boats of the US Marine Corps. Portugal was neutral during the Second World War but when Winston Churchill invoked a treaty dating from 1373, permission was given in 1943 for an RAF Coastal Command base to be very rapidly established at Lagens. From there convoys could be protected and U-boats could be harried and sunk, so closing the notorious mid-Atlantic gap. Later, it also became an important staging post for US aircraft, as it had been in the previous conflict.

The significance of the Azores has been overlooked in most military histories, but this extensively researched and copiously illustrated book from historian Guy Warner provides a detailed but balanced appraisal. The author has had access to archives and photographic collections in the UK, USA, Portugal and the Azores, consulting with local historians to produce a book that sheds much new light on a hitherto under-appreciated facet of twentieth-century history.

A fascinating account of the islands that make up the Azores and their role in global conflicts.

Books Monthly

"All of this is recounted in appropriate detail, and the text is amplified by a remarkable 200 photographs."

RAF Historical Society

"All four chapters make an interesting read whatever your aviation or historical tastes, which leave you longing for more."

Derek Straw - 206 Squadron Association - 206 Sqn Newsletter (Dec21)

Guy Warner provides extensive and detailed References, Appendices and Notes cataloguing the maritime and aviation activities on and around the islands during both World Wars and the interim period of peace also. In typical Guy fashion he hasn’t left a stone unturned so if you’re looking for any information about military activity on the Azores during either World War, if you are looking for detailed social and economic context for this activity from a local viewpoint then this book is for you!! I found this publication a most enjoyable, informative and enthralling read which I am pleased to commend to historian and casual reader alike.

Read the review here

Paul Fry

For those with an interest in World War 1 and 2, this book is a must for their library illuminating as it does this vitually unknown facet of both World Wars!

Martin Willoughby, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association
 Guy Warner

About Guy Warner

Guy Warner is a retired schoolteacher and former MOD civil servant, who has written more than 30 publications on aviation, military and naval history, four of which have been published by Pen & Sword, as well as several hundred articles for magazines in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal, Canada and the USA. He also gives talks on these topics, reviews books, makes contributions to TV and radio programmes and acts as a consultant to museums and universities. He and his wife Lynda have a great love of the Azores, which they have visited numerous times.

About Hugo Miguel Baptista Cabral

Capitão-de-fragata Hugo Miguel Baptista Cabral.

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