Rowland White

Phoenix Squadron: HMS Ark Royal, Britain's last Topguns and the untold story of their most dramatic mission

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January 1972: the tiny outpost of British Honduras is threatened with imminent invasion by battle-hardened, US-trained Guatemalan paratroops. Britain's response must be immediate and decisive. But there is only one deterrent the government can offer: HMS Ark Royal, once the Navy's most powerful warship, now a white elephant on the verge of being scrapped.

To save the small colony, she must launch a pair of Buccaneer fighter bombers on an unprecedented long-range mission. But first the old carrier must make a high-speed, 1,500 mile dash across the Atlantic towards the Gulf of Mexico. The odds of arriving in time are very slim indeed...

Drawing on extensive first-hand accounts and previously unseen, classified documents, Rowland White has pieced together one of the most audacious and thrilling missions of post-war British military history.