CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today CLICK HERE

THE FIRST NAVAL AIR WAR

PUBLISHED: 13:22 29 June 2011 | UPDATED: 14:09 10 October 2012

THE FIRST NAVAL AIR WAR by Terry C Treadwell (Tempus Publishing, £16.99)

THE FIRST NAVAL AIR WAR by Terry C Treadwell(Tempus Publishing, £16.99)Review by Nick BloomMany of the developments we associate with WWII date back to the 1914-1918 war – multi-engine bombers, air-to-ground radio, and mass formations, to give just three instances. This useful history shows that naval aviation was equally forward-looking.Shortly before the end of the war, Britain had, in HMS Argus, the first true aircraft carrier, with a 576-foot-long landing area. It was equipped with Sopwith Cuckoo aircraft, had wires to bring them to a stop and was fully operational just one month before the Armistice.

In July 1918, seven Sopwith Camels took off from HMS Furious. They flew eighty miles and bombed Zeppelin sheds in Denmark, destroying two of the airships.

The author surveys all the main combatants’ use of naval aircraft. The French used primarily lighter-than-air machines, which were very successful in deterring submarine attacks on their convoys. The Germans had some excellent floatplanes and made effective use of them. In the South Pacific a German raider on sighting a faster potential captive sent the floatplane it carried to drop a warning bomb, and if necessary, land alongside and hold the victim at gunpoint until the raider could arrive to make the capture. This tactic was extraordinarily successful—fourteen allied vessels were captured.

Russian seaplanes from the Imperator Nikolai I bombed and sank a 4,211 ton Turkish collier in 1916. This was the largest merchant ship sunk by aircraft during the war.

Japan, America and Italy started to develop what would become formidable naval air force operations in this period, but, for various reasons their use of seaplanes was more restricted than other nations.

The author has gathered some wonderful photographs. WWI floatplanes are most attractive. The narrative is rather formal, but there are enough incidents to keep you reading. Quite a lot of the history books we get sent to review are dull and worthy, but this one qualifies as a good read.

More from Gear

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How air-brained are you? Test your general aviation knowledge on matters including safety, history, training or anything related to flying! Compiled by James Allan

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

I see you… But do you see me? Part two of our series on electronic conspicuity focuses on the capabilities – and compatibility – of the existing technology

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

What is electronic conspicuity, how does it work and what aircraft equipment is available? – Part one in a new series | By Philip Whiteman

Read more
Monday, July 30, 2018

We’re offering one lucky pilot the chance to win a Yaesu FTA-750 Spirit air band transceiver worth £380

Read more
Friday, May 11, 2018

The online user portal launched in January by NATS promises to make it easier to cross controlled airspace. We put it to the test. Words by Colin Goodwin, photos by Philip Whiteman

Read more
Monday, April 23, 2018

The IC-A25NE is the latest 8.33 handheld from leading manufacturer Icom. Stylish and packed with features including Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to display navigational information from flight plans uploaded from Andriod or iOS devices, it is designed to ‘change the way pilots fly’

Read more
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bose has introduced its new active noise cancelling headset for the flight deck, the Bose ProFlight Aviation Headset, a headset described as lightweight and comfortable with three levels of user selectable active noise cancellation

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Pilot weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine