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The Armed Rovers (Hardback)

Beauforts and Beaufighters over the Mediterranean

WWII Aviation Naval Warfare WWII

Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781848848955
Published: 7th August 2012

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By far the most dangerous of the RAF operations during the Second World War were daylight attacks on enemy shipping, yet little has been written about this aerial campaign and the brave airmen who took part. In particular the intense air-sea battles that were fought in the Mediterranean have been neglected in histories of the war in North Africa and Italy.

Roy Nesbit, in this classic account, sets the record straight by describing in vivid detail how a few RAF squadrons were successful in destroying supplies that were vital to the Italian and German armies during the fighting in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. At critical moments during the land battles – during the dramatic advances and retreats that characterized the fighting in the desert – the failure of supplies to get through to Rommel's Afrika Korps was decisive. But the casualties suffered by the airmen in these low-level attacks were daunting, as were those among the naval and merchant seamen whose vessels were targeted.

In this book the author sensibly uses a combination of official documents and personal recollections to provide a story that is fascinating and technically detailed, yet easy to read. Numerous missions are described, with contributions from surviving participants and the escalation in operations during 1943 emphasis the importance of that work. It was only by late 1943 that the relatively safer use of rockets began to replace that of torpedoes and operations utilising those weapons as also described.

This is another interesting and fact-filled book; well work having if you are a WWII enthusiast.

Cross & Cockade

It is a mystery why so little has been written about the anti-shipping operations carried out by the RAF during the Second World War, as it is a story of great heroism and sacrifice, where the dangers to the attacker were as high as they were to the attacked. The operations also had a highly influential impact on campaigns on the ground, with each ship sunk sapping the ability of the enemy land forces to resist. In the Mediterranean theatre, with which this book is concerned, the efforts of the RAF and the Royal Navy at times so disrupted the German and Italian supply lines to North Africa that only a fraction of their ships arrived safely, and this was one of the decisive factors in their defeat.

This excellent book tells the story of a campaign which raged, almost unnoticed by posterity, throughout the entire duration of the War, and the vicious struggle which developed, in the air as well as on the surface, as the British attempted to take on the heavily protected convoys.

Pegasus Archive

Roy Nesbit brings this story to life at a relentless pace and sometimes I had trouble keeping up with him as I needed to draw breath. There are so many characters and events it is hard keeping them all in order but the overall effect is impressive and the intensity of the story goes some way to match the actual events. In many ways the book serves its purpose as a monument to the aircrew Mr Nesbit recalls with such passion. They were giants. Think of them when Remembrance Day comes, they deserve that little bit of silence along with all the special people in your heart.

www.warhistoryonline.co.uk
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