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The Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain / Anthony J. Cumming.

By: Cumming, Anthony J.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Annapolis, MD : Naval Institute Press, 2010Description: 207 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781591141600; 1591141605.Subject(s): Great Britain. Royal Navy -- History -- World War, 1939-1945 | Great Britain. Royal Air Force -- History -- World War, 1939-1945 | Britain, Battle of, Great Britain, 1940 | World War, 1939-1945 -- England -- London | World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, British | London (England) -- History -- Bombardment, 1940-1941DDC classification: 940.54/211
Introduction -- We can't simply swim over! -- Bombers versus battleships -- Who won the Battle of Britain? -- My system may not be perfect -- Wrong-Way Charlie's navy -- Why we fight? The Battle of Britain -- Conclusion.
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Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction 940.5421 CUM 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This persuasive study attacks the key myths surrounding the Battle of Britain to revise the relative status of maritime and aviation factors in the defense of Britain. Without denigrating the heroism of the fighter pilots, Anthony Cumming challenges the effectiveness of the Royal Air Force in 1940 and gives the Royal Navy much greater prominence than others have. He vigorously asserts the ability of British warships to frustrate German plans for Operation Sea Lion and to repel Luftwaffe attacks.

The author argues that the RAF took the lion's share of the glory only because its colorful image could easily be used manipulate American opinion. Cumming contends that the 70th anniversary of Battle of Britain should celebrate the contributions of the many rather than focusing on the pilot elite, an assertion certain provoke discussion.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction -- We can't simply swim over! -- Bombers versus battleships -- Who won the Battle of Britain? -- My system may not be perfect -- Wrong-Way Charlie's navy -- Why we fight? The Battle of Britain -- Conclusion.


Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. ix)
  • Abbreviations (p. xi)
  • Chapter 1 Introduction (p. 1)
  • Chapter 2 We Can't Simply Swim Over! (p. 8)
  • Chapter 3 Bombers versus Battleships (p. 28)
  • Chapter 4 Who Won the Battle of Britain? (p. 51)
  • Chapter 5 My System May Not Be Perfect (p. 76)
  • Chapter 6 Wrong-Way Charlie's Navy (p. 100)
  • Chapter 7 Why We Fight? The Battle of Britain (p. 123)
  • Chapter 8 Conclusion (p. 150)
  • Appendix I Successful Anti-Ship Attacks (p. 155)
  • Appendix II Aircraft and Air Force Personnel Losses (p. 157)
  • Notes (p. 159)
  • Index (p. 191)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This book represents a determined revisionist assault on the idea that the Royal Air Force won the Battle of Britain, saving the country from a German invasion during the summer of 1940. Cumming points up all sorts of problems with the RAF: poorly designed aircraft, ineffective leadership, teething problems with the radar warning system, and especially a shortage of trained pilots. The German Luftwaffe, meanwhile, was not much better; it lacked the torpedo bombers that could have enabled it to drive the Royal Navy out of the English Channel. Neither air force, therefore, won the battle. Cumming makes a rather difficult case that Admiral Sir Charles Forbes was truly the victor, deserving the historical adulation accorded to Air Marshall Hugh Dowding and the RAF's famous--and Cumming would say overpublicized--"few." The problem is that the heavy units of the Royal Navy never really engaged in the battle, as Admiral Forbes kept the Home Fleet safely in its northern base at Scapa Flow, far from the invasion beaches. Whether or not the battleships could have destroyed a German invasion force can never be known. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries. J. R. Breihan Loyola University Maryland