The Blackburn Skua was the first monoplane to be designed and built for the Royal Navy in the 1930s. As a result of continued debate, it became a compromise between the Navy’s desire for a carrier-based dive-bomber and RAF’s preference for a fighter. Despite being the first to shoot down a Luftwaffe aircraft in World War II, early operations in Norway found the type woefully inadequate as a fighter. As a dive-bomber, the Royal Navy put the design to good use from the outset of WWII. It was involved with the hunt for the Graf Spee, sunk the major warship Konigsberg, suffered with great loss in an attack on the Scharnhorst, helped to keep the German advance at bay during the Dunkirk evacuation and attacked the French rogue battleship Richelieu in the Mediterranean. This book relates how the final design was created, how the dive-bombing technique was developed and perfected by naval pilots and traces the wartime operational career of the type with many first-hand accounts.
The author has done a very good job in recounting the story of the Blackburn Skua. Two excellent photo plate sections and an annex containing drawings, provide able support for clear and easy to read text. There is a great deal of information. The author has close access o the FAA Museum archives and is connected with the Skua restoration.Firetrench Reviews
The Blackburn Skua claimed several historical "firsts". It scored Britain's first confirmed German aircraft kill of World War II. It gained distinction as the Royal Navy's first monoplane. And it was the first all-metal aircraft in Royal Navy service. Yet it remains among the most maligned – and misunderstood – British warplanes of the conflict. Now renowned dive-bomber expert Peter C. Smith conclusively corrects the record in his superb study SKUA!.What a ripping read. Robustly recommended!Cybermodeler