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Stringbag (ePub)

The Fairey Swordfish at War

Aviation > WWII WWII

By David Wragg
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 8.5 MB (.epub)
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 60 b/w
ISBN: 9781473818699
Published: 1st November 2004


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During World War Two an American naval officer stared at a Swordfish for the first time.

'Where did that come from?' he asked. 'Fairey's', came the reply from a British naval officer standing nearby. He stroked his chin thoughtfully. 'That figures', he replied.

This is a narrative account of the operations of the Fairey Swordfish throughout World War Two. The most famous of these was the attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, crippling three battleships and damaging several other ships as well as the seaplane base and an oil storage depot. The Swordfish played a prominent part in the Battle of Matapan and in the sinking of the Bismark. Less happily, Swordfish were used in the unsuccessful and ill-prepared raid on the Germans at Petsamo and in the abortive attack on the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during the Channel Dash in 1942.

Throughout the book, the text is interwoven with personal accounts by naval airmen.

A well written and thoroughly enjoyable book and the author certainly held my attention.

Highly recommended.

Richard K Parkhurst, IPMS Portsmouth

Video review on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

Review by Peter Wykeham-Martin

This is an affectionate but objective account of a venerable aircraft with some fascinating first hand accounts of operational flying often in extreme conditions. With many photographs, including some more unusual ones from Dutch naval records, and with appendices covering details of every Swordfish squadron, and training of aircrew and groundcrew, this is a truly comprehensive history of the Fairey Swordfish. The fact that the Fly Navy Heritage Trust maintains 3 airworthy Swordfish is a fitting memorial to an iconic aircraft and their gallant aircrew. Highly recommended.

Warship World

Click here to read the review by Geoff Simpson

British Modern Military History Society

I was a Fleet Air Arm pilot - being awarded my wings in 1983 and flying the Wasp and Lynx operationally. There is no doubt that the ethos and 'can-do attitude' that prevailed at the time had been gained by our colleagues that had flown and fought the Fairey Swordfish four decades earlier. In particular the 'Battle of Taranto' is celebrated annually, usually with much alcohol, explosive devices and models of Swordfish aircraft. This book provides a definitive historical account of the aircraft and the men that fought and died flying her. I commend it to anyone with an interest in maritime aviation.

Christopher Taylor

About David Wragg

David Wragg is a prolific military historian who specialises in naval aviation subjects. He has been published widely in the UK and USA and in four languages.
He has numerous books in print with Pen and Sword and is the author of over thirty maritime, aviation and transport works.

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