Neglected Skies

"The Demise of British Naval Power in the Far East, 1922-42"

Hardcover $11.68
Book: Cover Type


Neglected Skies uses a reconsideration of the clash between the British Eastern Fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy’s First Air Fleet in the Indian Ocean in April 1942 to draw a larger conclusion about declining British military power in the era. In this book, Angus Britts explores the end of British naval supremacy from an operational perspective. By primarily analyzing the evolution of British naval aviation during the interwar period, as well as the challenges that the peacetime Royal Navy was forced to confront, a picture emerges of a battle fleet that entered the war in September 1939 unready for combat.

By examining the development of Japan’s first-strike carrier battle group, the Kido Butai, Britts charts both the rise of Japan as a wartime power as well as the demise of the Royal Navy. Japan, by concentrating their six largest aircraft-carriers into a single strike force with state-of-the-art aircraft, had taken a quantum leap forward in warfighting at sea. Simultaneously, British forces found themselves outmatched in this Eastern theatre and Britts makes the case, by looking at a set of key battles, that this is where the global supremacy of Britain’s naval power ended.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"Britts's work is a success.... [He] communicates the depth of naval strategy and the technicalities of naval aviation well enough that one unfamiliar with these things before picking up the work can easily make sense of what is an understandably complicated field." —H-War
"Given how much has been written on both of the world wars, it is rare to identify an entirely new angle and shed light on a subject that has truly never been detailed before. This unique freshness is what makes Angus Britts' Neglected Skies: The Demise of British Naval Power in the Far East, 1922-1944 such a worthwhile read. Neglected Skies covers a wide period of history, as noted by the title, that takes the British Navy from the heights of its might to the point of near decay when the world needed them most to succeed. Well-researched and clearly written with a passion for both naval and aviation history, Neglected Skies does a service to the ever-growing trove of world war accounts." —Air and Space Power Journal
"This book ... gathers together a host of useful thoughts about the problems of block obsolescence and the integration of new capabilities within a fleet in peacetime." —Naval War College Review
"Neglected Skies provides good reflection on the tactics used previously by the Royal Navy against the Italians in the Mediterranean and against the Germans in the Atlantic." —Aerospace
“Engagingly written, Neglected Skies provides an accessible combination of a detailed operational history of an often-overlooked naval battle and a succinct explanation of the Royal Navy’s relative decline in the interwar period.” —The Journal of Military History