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Stalking the U-BoatU.S. Naval Aviation in Europe during World War I$
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Geoffrey L. Rossano

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034881

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034881.001.0001

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Under the Gun

Under the Gun

NAS Dunkirk, 1917–1918

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 Under the Gun
Source:
Stalking the U-Boat
Author(s):

Geoffrey L. Rossano

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034881.003.0004

Finding and attacking submarines with aircraft posed a difficult task in 1917–1918, and the station at Dunkirk operated under the most extreme conditions. It was the only American base to endure continuous bombardment from land, sea, and air. Dunkirk also battled aggressive enemy air forces in significant numbers. The congested harbor offered treacherous conditions, while the base's limited size and extreme range of tide hampered launch and recovery of aircraft. The choice of machines also worked against completion of its mission. Obsolescent Donnet-Denhaut flying boats were severely underpowered as well as mechanically unreliable. Unfortunately, space restrictions precluded replacement with more capable flying boats.

Keywords:   naval base, Dunkirk, flying boats, enemy attack, air force power, bombardment

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