Coastal Patrol: Royal Navy Airship Operations During the Great War 1914-1918

Coastal Patrol: Royal Navy Airship Operations During the Great War 1914-1918

Product no.: 978-1-78155-527-9
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  • Profusely illustrated with many unpublished photographs
  • Personal accounts of veterans give a unique insight into life as an airship pilot in the First World War
  • Previously unpublished material from official archives
  • The triumphs and tragedies of British wartime airship operations

In the summer of 1915, the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was engaged in an unexpected war at sea to prevent German submarines from disrupting the flow of vital supplies to Britain. It was a war that had to be won as by the spring of 1917, the U-boats were close to bringing the British war effort to the point of collapse.

Airships of the RNAS played a vital part in this war at sea. Coastal Patrol: Royal Naval Airship Operations During the Great War 1914-1918 tells the story of the young men who ventured out in airships over the hostile coastal waters of the British Isles to hunt down German submarines and to attack them with the 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 from interviews with veterans. It covers the entire experience of being an airship pilot, from initial training, through numerous adventures while flying these unusual aircraft, to the final victory in 1918.


Brian J. Turpin trained as an aircraft engineer and served in the V-force of RAF Bomber Command. He learned to fly in the 1950s and on leaving the RAF in 1960, studied for his Commercial Pilot’s Licence and flew professionally for the next forty years. He now works part-time as a flying instructor with a local flying club. As an airship historian, he specialises in the development of British naval airships and has had numerous magazine articles published. He has flown in balloons and airships and holds a balloon pilot’s licence.

Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Binding: hardback
Extent: 288 pages
Illustrations: 144 black-and-white photographs

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