The Dauntless in Battle (Hardback)
The Douglas SBD Dauntless, a monoplane dive-bomber designed by Ed Heinemann for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, arrived in service in the months just preceding America’s entry into World War II. The first such aircraft were being shipped out to the USMC units just as the Japanese Task Force arrived in position to launch their attack on Pearl Harbor, while those Dauntless embarked aboard the American aircraft carriers of the Pacific Fleet became among the very first casualties of that surprise attack.
Very quickly the Dauntless established herself as a highly accurate naval bomber at sea. However, when the Army Air Force adopted the type (as the Banshee) they lacked the Navy’s expertise at this method of attack and the hastily-deployed units that tried to stem the tide of enemy victory in the Dutch East Indies were overwhelmed and took heavy losses, which gave the USAAC the excuse to abandon the type.
The US Navy and Marine flyers fared quite differently. In the early raids on Japanese-held islands - and in 1942 at the naval battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, Eastern Solomons and elsewhere - she proved herself a key and decisive instrument to first halt and then turn the die against Japanese expansion. The SBD (nicknamed ‘Slow But Deadly’) fought ashore the bitter fighting a Guadalcanal and the subsequent Solomon Island campaigns working from both shore and carrier bases.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force also formed a squadron with this aircraft that fought at Bougainville with distinction. The Dauntless continued to fight a sea until right up to 1944 and then carried on with the Marine Corps to provide the American Army with close air support in their conquest of the Philippines. The Dauntless also served with the French Air Force and Navy in North Africa, Europe and, post-war, in Vietnam.
This is her story.
A rare book that is written with love.Amazon Customer, Richard Domoney-Saunders
It not only deals with the plane itself but also its combat history in the Pacific.
The author shows his love for the aircraft and also for the battle record of this strange aircraft.
It is really recommended for those with a love for aviation and also for the Pacific war.
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This is a very welcome updated and expanded edition of a best selling book published in 1997. The author has produced a extensively researched complete history of the famous SBD Dauntless dive bomber, hero of the Battle of Midway . – Very Highly Recommended.Firetrench
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I believe I may have owned a Douglas Dauntless as part of my Airfix aeroplanes in 1/72nd scale back in the 1950s/60s; indeed, I had most of the kits that Airfix offered in those days. The Dauntless is an American fighter plane, of course, and I may have concentrated on English warplanes, but the shape looks familiar, and Peter Smith's book traces its illustrious history throughout the second world war and beyond in vivid detail.Books Monthly
It’s well written and researched, not to mention the excellent photographs showing operational aircraft of the period.Scale Modelling Now
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As featured 'On The Book Shelf'Wargames Illustrated, March 2019