Pen & Sword, Barnsley, 1st.ed., 2004. 250 pp., 32 photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. By the time war re-visited the world in 1939, it was obvious to almost everyone in naval circles that the carrier would shortly usurp the battleship as the capital ship of the world’s fleets. For the Royal Navy the carrier war had a shaky start with the loss of COURAGEOUS and GLORIOUS in the early stages of the conflict. In the hunt for the BISMARCK however, carrier-based aircraft played a pivotal role in bringing the enemy to its destruction ; and in the Mediterranean, naval aircraft sealed the fate of the Italian Navy. Without carriers, the Japanese would not have been able to strike the first dramatic blow in the Pacific war at Pearl Harbour ; without the carrier the US Navy would not have been able to push the Japanese back across the Pacific. The author examines the carrier campaigns of the Second World War, not only the major actions but also the carrier’s role in protecting convoys and covering amphibious landings. Illustrated with 32 photographs.