Carrier War: Aviation Art of World War II

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9781586633097: Carrier War: Aviation Art of World War II
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Breathtaking paintings by the most respected aviation and military artists preserve the moment when the aircraft carrier became the cornerstone of naval warfare. Begin with the earliest demonstrations of planes flying from and landing on ships, and the carrier's evolution in the period between the wars. The British, Japanese, and US fleets all obtained true carriers, with their numbers growing wildly by World War II. Written, with gripping historical anecdotes, by a renowned military historian.

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In a well-constructed book, author Paul Stillwell takes the reader through that period of maritime history which saw the aircraft carrier in WW2 suddenly thrust from a supporting to a leading role as a result of that infamous attack on Pearl Harbour. Cleverly laid out by someone who clearly knows his subject, Stillwell uses an excellent choice of artwork and historic photographs to underpin a text which takes the reader forward - almost step at a time, through some of the most defining moments of aircraft carrier history. Every so often he pauses to recount someone or something as an aside. The story of naval pilot Lieutenant Alberto C. "Silver" Emerson, lost over Guadalcanal in February 1943, is one such anecdotal example and makes the book all the more interesting because of its inclusion. Always pleasing to find an American historian who recognises the simple fact that the Royal Navy also operated aircraft carriers during the period in question, I found it particularly interesting to compare the work of different artists. I suspect all readers will immediately warm to whichever becomes their own favourite. Altogether an extremely interesting book from an author who applies great skill and knowledge to the task of telling the story of the aircraft carrier during WW2. I consider this book an excellent addition to my own library. --By Ned Middleton

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The subject of the new member of Friedman/Fairfax's spectacular Aviation Art of World War II series is carrier aviation, and the book actually retreats to the first carrier strike, launched by the British in 1918, before proceeding to the era that concludes with the atom-bombed hulk of the U.S.S. Saratoga on the bottom of Bikini Atoll. Coverage of the prewar period is largely American, but wartime coverage embraces British and American feats (the British raid on Taranto, Italy, was the first serious antiship strike from a carrier). The art depicts air strikes; sea scenes of refueling, rescues, and maneuvers; and day-to-day maintenance and living aboard ships that even in 1943 were as populous as a small town. Artists of several generations are represented, including World War II veterans Tom Lea and Dwight Shepler, contemporaries like Ted Wilbur, and the ubiquitous and excellent James Dietz. The text, superior to those of the other volumes in the series, is by a distinguished naval historian. A splendid treat for naval buffs. Roland Green
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ISBN 10:  140271856X ISBN 13:  9781402718564
Publisher: Friedman/Fairfax, 2004
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