Short Sunderland

The “Flying Porcupines” in the Second World War

Andrew Hendrie

Date Published :
May 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
80 integrated b/w images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848847798
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399014540
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In 1933, the Air Ministry issued a specification for a general-purpose four-engine flying boat capable of operating from the outposts of the Empire. The result was the remarkable Sunderland, built by Short Brothers.

This book covers the development of the Short Sunderland and its operation in the Second World War. The Sunderland's Crew's ability to take on combats with six or more enemy fighters earned it the Luftwaffe's nickname of the "Flying Porcupine".
The aircraft’s “maid of all work” role over the eastern Mediterranean is covered in detail, and includes recess for the Royal Navy, evacuations from Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete, as well as attacks on enemy submarines.

The Canadian, Australian and Norwegian squadrons’ operations within Coastal Command are included plus, outside the Command, those of South Africans and New Zealanders. The author also includes details of postwar operations such as the Berlin Airlift.

Detailed appendices include lists of Sunderlands with brief histories and all known successful attacks on enemy submarines.

About The Author

After completing a tour of operations on Lockheed Hudsons during the Second World War, ANDREW HENDRIE logged flights on over seventy Sunderlands, largely air tests of machines delivered by the Short’s factories at Belfast and Windermere. He then began a second tour on Vickers Wellingtons.

Post-war, Andrew joined the RAFVR. After 1980 he began researching and writing books about maritime flying operations. His first title, Seek and Strike: The Lockheed Hudson in World War II, was published in 1983. Andrew passed away in 2004.


"...a serviceable, comprehensive, and at times gripping, history of the Flying Porcupine. The photographs are extensive and well-chosen..."

- Naval Historical Foundation

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