Book Review: Fighters Over the Fleet: Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War by Norman Friedman

Fighters Over the Fleet: Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War

Fighters Over the Fleet: Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War by Norman Friedman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Fighters Over the Fleet: Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War by Norman Friedman is not a book that the general public would find interesting, but it is certainly one that anyone with an interest in military aviation or naval warfare. Friedman details the development of fleet air defense from the inception of aircraft carriers through the Cold War. Through World War II, he writes about how the British Royal Navy, the Japanese Imperial Navy, and the United States Navy defended their fleets from aerial threats; post World War II, he continues with how the Royal Navy and US Navy developed fleet air defense. As the title indicates, he devotes a lot of time to carrier fighters and how they evolved from propeller-driven biplanes to propeller-driven monoplane to jet monoplane. He explains how command and control systems, including radar and computers, evolved as aircraft became faster, longer-ranged, and air-to-surface missiles developed. I think some MilCom hobbyists would also be interested in this book because it explains the history and background of what we’re hearing when we listen to some of the carrier and air defense nets. Although I’m not an expert on fleet air defense, the book seems to be comprehensive and well documented and Friedman includes numerous photos of the aircraft and radar systems that he writes about. What I enjoyed most about this book is that Friedman concentrates not just on the equipment but how they’re used – theory, techniques, and practices as well. It can get dry at times and it’s easy to get bogged down in acronyms and system designations, but at the same time, it remains interesting. As I mentioned above, anyone interested in naval warfare, military aviation, or military communications should consider reading Fighters Over the Fleet.



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Categories: Books, History, MilCom, Military History, Military Monitoring

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