From the acclaimed military history author, this action-packed World War II history describes the Allies' brutal naval engagements and daring harbor raids to destroy the backbone of Hitler's surface fleet.The sea had become a mass grave by 1941 as Hitler's four capital warships -- Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Tirpitz, and Bismarck, the largest warship on the ocean -- roamed the wind-swept waves, threatening the Allied war effort and sending thousands of men to the icy depths of the North Atlantic. Bristling with guns and steeled in heavy armor, these reapers of the sea could outrun and outgun any battleship in the Allied arsenal. The deadly menace kept Winston Churchill awake at night; he deemed them "targets of supreme consequence."The campaign against Hitler's surface fleet would continue into the dying days of World War II and involve everything from massive warships engaged in bloody, fire-drenched battle to daring commando raids in German occupied harbors. This is the fast-paced story of the Allied bomber crews, brave sailors, and bold commandoes who "sunk the Bismarck" and won a hard-fought victory over Hitler's iron sea.Using official war diaries, combat reports, eyewitness accounts and personal letters, Simon Read brings the action and adventure to vivid life. The result is an enthralling and gripping story of the Allied heroes who fought on a watery battlefield.
The theme of this book is the exploration of the theory and practice of dive-bombing, which tactic proved more precise than that of level-flight bombers and more effective than air-launched torpedo attacks against surface ships. It is also the author's purpose to come to a more general conclusion as to the effectiveness of dive-bombing under actual combat conditions. In this regard the words and observations of several dive-bomber aviators have been incorporated. While the best known dive-bomber was the Stuka, the most successful of the major dive-bombing airframes was undoubtedly the American-made Douglas SBD Dauntless that would prove (like most of its type) to be Slow But Deadly - hence the title of this book. Dive-bombing made a name for itself in the Second World War; some might say it created a legend. The 400-year-long naval dominance of the surface battleship had been transferred almost overnight to the aircraft carrier, thus proving the adage that future wars are often fought with the knowledge and weapons of the past. The Stuka Ju-87 and the Aichi D3As were among the best known aircraft among those who lived through the war. That the Dauntless came out of the war as the premier purpose-designed dive-bomber may be due as much to the fact that the Axis lost the war and the Allies emerged victorious. Yet the SBD had certain innate characteristics that made it great. Slow But Deadly, the SBD sank over 300,000 tons of enemy shipping in the Pacific theater alone. It killed 18 warships from submarines to battleships, and it was the premier killer of aircraft carriers among all other weapons systems sinking six flattops almost entirely without assistance and damaging several more. From May to November 1942, SBDs sank or disabled 30 percent of the naval strength of the Empire of Japan and decimated its carrier air arm causing one authority to declare the Dauntless "the worst enemy of the Imperial Navy of Japan." 1. Language: English. Narrator: Gene E Traupman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/025629/bk_acx0_025629_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The first British major success of World War II was when the Royal Navy forced the preying pocket battleship, Graf Spee, to scuttle at sea. Hitler had ordered a blockade of the British Isles and for some months German U-boats and warships caused havoc among allied merchant shipping carrying vital supplies. In 1941, the one sided battle of the Atlantic became more even when the Royal Navy started moving ships in convoy with escorts using radar and information from British scientists who had cracked the Kreigsmarine version of the Enigma Code captured by the Royal Navy. The perils of the Atlantic were only equalled by the convoys on the run to northern Russia. Sub-zero temperatures, pack ice and appalling weather conditions plus the menacing Luftwaffe and the German Navy based in Norway, made it one of the most hazardous actions of the entire war. Meanwhile, in the air, bomber planes of the RAF and U.S. air force were incessantly bombarding German industries and cities. Casualties on the ground were devastating and the life expectancy of the aircrew was alarmingly short. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Timothy West. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rhuk/000021/bk_rhuk_000021_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
An extraordinary firsthand account of the Battle of Midway by one of its key participants, timed to the 75th anniversary: American dive-bomber pilot "Dusty" Kleiss helped sink three Japanese warships (including two aircraft carriers), received the Navy Cross, and is credited with playing a decisive individual role in determining the outcome of a battle that is considered a turning point in World War II. In Never Call Me a Hero, Captain Kleiss (USN, ret.), a US Navy SBD Dauntless dive-bomber pilot with the USS Enterprise's Scouting Squadron Six, tells his full story for the first time, offering an unprecedentedly intimate look at the battle that reversed America's fortunes after the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. Kleiss is notable for being the only pilot from either fleet on those battle-scarred days of legend, June 4-7, 1942, to land hits on three different enemy ships. On the first day of the Battle of Midway, Kleiss planted bombs on two Japanese carriers - Kaga and Hiryu - sinking both, and later, on June 6, he scored a direct hit on a Japanese cruiser, the Mikuma, which also sank. In his 1967 book Incredible Victory, Walter Lord asserted that the margins of US victory at Midway were so thin that individual participants could rightfully say that their actions turned the tide. Given the amount of destruction inflicted upon the Japanese that day, Kleiss may have been the most important pilot in the air. It is no stretch to say that without him, the Battle of Midway may not have been won, altering the course of the conflict and history itself, for according the US Navy's historians, "The Battle of Midway was far more than an epic WWII clash somewhere far away at sea. It was an American victory that forever changed the course of world history. This is the battle that turned the tide of the war." But this is not only the memoir of one man; it is the history of this battle and its legacy. In only five 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mike Ortego, Cassandra Campbell, Patrick Lawlor. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/harp/006083/bk_harp_006083_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! An interrupter gear is a device used on military aircraft and warships in order to allow them to target opponents without damaging themselves. The term covers two related technologies: the first, more accurately referred to as synchronization gear, or a gun synchronizer, is attached to the armament of a tractor-type craft so that it can fire through the arc of a spinning propeller without the bullets striking the blades. Introduced during the First World War, the gun synchronizer was a significant development in the history of aerial warfare and remained in operational use until the Korean War, after which the universal adoption of propeller-less jet aircraft rendered such gears redundant. The other, true interrupter gear stops the firing of the machine gun when some part of the aircraft is in the way. For much of the early history of the fighter aircraft this was limited to the propeller. This would change with the introduction of gun turret mounts on bomber aircraft.
High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Dive Bomber is a 1941 American propaganda film directed by Michael Curtiz. It is notable for both its Technicolor photography of pre-World War II United States Navy aircraft and as a historical document of the US in 1941, including the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, one of the best known World War II US warships. The film was the last of a collaboration between director Curtiz and actor Errol Flynn which began in 1935 and spanned 12 films. The cast also includes Fred MacMurray, on loan from Paramount Studios and Alexis Smith in her first credited screen performance. Flynn portrays a Harvard-educated doctor who is involved in heroic medical research on pilots, with MacMurray as the skeptical veteran aviator who gets swept up in the project