Coastal Patrol (Hardback)

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Brian J. Turpin
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In the summer of 1915 the Royal Naval Air Service found itself engaged in an unexpected war at sea, the fight to prevent the German submarine fleet from disrupting the flow of vital supplies to the British Isles, necessary for the conduct of the war. It was a war that had to be won because by the spring of 1917 the U-boat campaign against Allied merchant shipping was close to bringing the British war effort to the point of collapse. Airships of the RNAS played a vital part in this new war at sea. This book tells the story of the young men who ventured out over the often hostile waters around the British Isles in airships, who were expected to hunt down the German submarines and to attack them with the hopelessly inadequate weapons at their disposal. The story is told by those who took part in this new form of warfare, through pieces written by them or via interviews with veterans. It covers the entire experience of being an airship pilot, from initial training, through their numerous adventures while flying these frail craft over the coastal waters of the British Isles, to the final victory in 1918.