Book Review: Carrier Operations in World War II


by J. D. Brown, edited by David Hobbs

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2009. . Pp. 304. . Illus., tables, append., notes, biblio., index. . $72.95. . ISBN: 978-1-591-14108-2

The original two volume edition of Carrier Operations in World War II, by the late J.D. Brown, a former Fleet Air Arm Officer, were published over a decade ago.  This revised and expanded one volume edition, by Commander David Hobbs of the Royal Navy, himself a prolific author on naval history (Aircraft Carriers of the Royal and Commonwealth Navies: The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia from World War I to the Present), incorporates both of Brown's original two volumes, plus material the author had intended to include in a third volume, and other new material, to bring the work up to date.

Carrier Operations in World War II is essentially an overview -- almost a catalog -- of quite literally scores of carrier operations during the Second World War.  Divided into three "volumes," each covers a distinct aspect of carrier operations.  The first deals with the British experience in Atlantic, Mediterranean, and African waters from 1939 through 1945, which involved an surprisingly impressive number of carrier operations, while the second covers "The Pacific Navies" from December of 1941 through February of 1943 and the third from then through the end of the war.  The text provides a concise, usually adequate account of each operation or series of operations, with summaries of ships involved, aircraft inventories, strategic and tactical setting, objectives, and outcomes. 

A valuable work for anyone with an interest in the Second World War at sea. 

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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