Low-level strikes against enemy shipping by torpedo-carrying aircraft were perhaps the most dangerous forms of air attack developed during WWII, and few isolated actions had such a direct impact on naval and military actions. This book tells the story of the RAF men involved, from the early attacks by single Beauforts off the Dutch and Norwegian coasts to the massed assaults of later years by the famous ‘strike-wings’.
The author, who joined the RAF in 1940 as a wireless operator/ air gunner, and served in the UK, Middle East and West Africa, and whose career on torpedo work ended in a crash in which his pilot and navigator were killed, is eminently qualified to write this book.
He includes many historic actions; the lone moonlight attack by a 22-year-old flight sergeant on the pocket-battleship Lützow; the torpedoing of the Gneisenau in Brest harbour; the Channel Dash of the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen and the heroic Swordfish attacks; and the vital strikes from Malta in 1942 against the Italian fleet and the supply shipping of the Afrika Korps.
The result is a fascinating book, vivid in its true picture of aircrew life, stirring in its descriptions of heroic actions, intensely moving in its record of human endeavour.
First published in 1957 by Chatto this is an absolutely epic account brought back to entertain a new audience.