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Fairey Swordfish in action - Aircraft No. 175 Paperback – 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 50 pages
  • Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications; 1st edition (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089747421X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897474214
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,597,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 27, 2008
There have been few more unlikely warbirds than Fairey Aviation's Swordfish torpedo bomber. This fixed-gear, open cockpit biplane looked like a throwback to WWI days yet the 'Stringbag' compiled an unbelievably full combat record in Word War II. W. A. Harrison reecounts the Swordfish's legacy in this Squadron/Signal volume from 2001.

The Swordfish prototype first flew in 1934. Though the aircraft evolved through four Marks, there was little change in the basic design. (The Mark III carried ASV radar and the IV had an enclosed cockpit). Fairey's three-man biplane zipped into combat at a blistering 132 mph at sea-level and cruised at 104! Main armament initially was a ship-killing 18-inch Mark XII torpedo, 250-lb. or 500-lb. bombs and two .303 popguns. Depth charges and rockets were a later addition. Thirteen squadrons flew Swordfishes, 11 from RN carriers.

Despite its antiquated design the Swordfish participated in many of the war's most dramatic strikes. Whether crippling the Bismarck, attacking the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during the 'Channel Dash,' sinking the Italian Fleet at Taranto or attacking U-boats, intrepid Swordfish crews deploying from various land bases, carriers and MAC-ships, made their mark during the war.

Author Harrison does a good job recounting the Swordfish's development and combat career. Over 90 photographs, plan-views and color profiles from Don Greer depict the Stringbag in all its glory. Greer also contributes some nicely done front- and back-cover artwork. Though I've praised Greer's profile illustrations before, his cover artwork is equally well-done.

In short, FAIREY SWORDFISH IN ACTION is a good introduction to its subject and is recommended for any and all torpedo bomber, Royal Navy and biplane enthusiasts.
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