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British Escort Carriers 1941–45

British Escort Carriers 1941–45 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review September 2019 Title British Escort Carriers 1941–45
Author Angus Konstam Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472836250
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.00

Review

Decisive antidotes to Nazi submarines and shore-based bombers, WWII escort carriers provided puissant protection for vital convoys supplying the Allied war effort – largely eliminating needs for larger “fleet” carriers in identical roles.

Now Angus Konstam catalogs their crucial “Commonwealth” contribution in British Escort Carriers 1941–45 – 274th in Osprey’s vast “New Vanguard” range.

In just 48 pithy pages, Konstam surveys the historical background, all Commonwealth escort carrier classes, individual vessels therein, specifications, construction comments, deployment notes, equipment, combat operations, aircraft rosters, and fates.

Many additionally served as warplane ferries and in training duties.

Coverage also includes conversions of merchantmen into makeshift Merchant Aircraft Carrier – “MAC” – ships. Retaining most “cargo-carrying capability”, each carried a few Fairey Swordfish biplanes to mount Combat Air Patrols over convoys.

Did you know that the roster of MAC ships included two Dutch-flagged vessels? I didn’t, either.

Period photos, color views, camouflage schemes, cut-away images, aircraft profiles, and action illustrations augment the account. “Life On Board” commentary proved particularly illuminating – and interesting.

Extended captions, sidebars, and tables further season the study. And a selected bibliography and index complete contents.

But F6F Hellcat’s maximum speed was 380 mph – 50 mph more than Konstam claims.

British Escort Carriers 1941–45 provides a great little introduction to this terrific topic. Just don’t expect annotations to facilitate further study.

Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!

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