S u m m a
Title and Author
Guardian of the Sea Lanes
by Richard A Franks
Dalrymple & Verdun Publishing 2005
colour covers; 21.5cm x 28cm portrait format, printed in
black and white on 112 good quality pages. Ten pages of
colour artwork by Richard J Caruana plus many black and
white, as well as colour, photographs.
postage and packing available online from Dalrymple &
of a much-modified and upgraded aircraft; fine selection
of photographs, many never published before; colour
profiles by Richard J Caruana.
Reviewed by Steve Naylor
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Published in 2005, 'Shackleton - Guardian of the Sea Lanes'
is the first volume in Dalrymple & Verdun's new series of
'...detailed and well illustrated accounts of classic aircraft
in service from prototype, to the few remaining preserved
at just under A4 size, the book has soft, glossy covers with
distinctive cover artwork in a 'Pop Art' style, whilst the
two-columns-per-page text is printed on semi-gloss/satin pages.
Complimenting the text are some 160, mostly black and white,
photographs derived from a wide range of sources, many
previously unpublished, showing the Shackleton in its many marks
and variants. There is a slight bias towards Maltese subjects
within these images, since two of the major contributors are
Godfrey Mangion and Richard J Caruana, but the book is non the
worse for that. The detailed text follows the development of the
Shackleton from its Lancaster-inspired inception, through
changing service roles, modifications, upgrades and then onwards
to eventual retirement and replacement. Helping to complete the
story, there are several technical line drawings provided,
illustrating features of the aircraft's construction.
Useful for the modeller, there are 10 pages containing over
35 colour side profiles and 4-view illustrations by Richard J
Caruana, covering the aircraft in squadron service (grouped by
version), and as a trials aircraft and even as a target tug.
The story of the Shackleton is covered by the book in eight
chapters. Chapter one describes the creation of Coastal Command
as a separate entity, with the remaining chapters describing:
the prototype and Mk.1 development ('A Legend From a Legend');
the Mk.2 and trials work ('Improving the Type'), the Mk.3 and
adoption by the South African Air Force ('Third Time Lucky!');
the T Mk.4 trainer variant, test work and 'police duties'
('Training, Peace Keeping and Atomic Tests'); then tackling the
somewhat complicated Shackleton upgrading and improvement story
('Continual Upgrade and Service'); the AEW Mk.2 stopgap
solution, ('The Projects', 'The Interim Solution' and 'The
Folly') and finally; detailed information on paint schemes and
markings ('Shackleton Colours'), including the aforementioned
There are also four appendices: 'Technical Data' on the Mk's 1
to 3, AEW Mk.2 and the T Mk's 2 and 4 (includes the technical
line drawings); 'Shackleton Squadrons', including those used in
Government research and testing as well as foreign service;
'Shackleton Production', a full list of airframes, with notes on
each serial's squadron allocation(s), etc. and finally; a
listing and details of aircraft tested by the A&AEE at Boscombe
Down. The book concludes with a two-page description of the
failed attempt to return an ex-SAAF Shackleton to the UK in July
1994 ('Pelican 16 – Last Flight of the Shackleton'), a Glossary
& Bibliography page, an Index page and finally a few evocative
photographs of scrapped or dumped airframes.
From a modellers perspective, this book certainly provides
inspiration, if that were needed, to tackle one of Avro's
swansong 'heavies', though some more detailed 'walk around'
photographs would have been useful. Equally, although not
exhaustive, the text competently portrays the life of the
'Shack' and skilfully guides the reader through the somewhat
convoluted development, modification and upgrading it
experienced. Mister Caruana's profiles are the 'icing on the
cake' and will be especially helpful regarding the perhaps less
well known early variants.
Sadly, the Shackleton has become somewhat of a 'forgotten
warrior', having put in many years of service undertaking a
variety of (perhaps) unglamorous roles. Although published in
2005, this review is written in 2007 - 50 years since the first
unit to re-equip with the the, then, new MR Mk.3 received their
aircraft (No.220 Squadron at RAF St Mawgan, on 30 August 1957) -
and as such, this book provides a timely reminder of a
much-loved and respected machine.
Thanks to Dalrymple & Verdun Publishing for the
be available to order from most good book stores, but may also
be ordered direct from:
33 Adelaide Street
Review Copyright © 2007 by
This Page Created on 26 February, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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