This is an Alternative History (a book in which the consequences of certain changed in history are explored).
The premise (what is often called the Point of Departure) is that in 1932 the British Royal Navy recovered control of its air arm (the Fleet Air Arm) from the grip of the Royal Air Force.
The air arms of the navy and army had been combined into the RAF during World War 1, and as a consequence naval aviation was badly neglected by the Air Ministry. Though not by the Royal Navy. Contrary to much popular belief, the Royal Navy was very air-minded between the wars, but was severely limited by what the Air Ministry was prepared to do for them.
There had been a number of attempts to recover naval air, indeed a debate on this issue in Parliament in 1926 only failed by two votes. This story starts in 1932, when an aggrieved Navy decides to make it a serious issue, and gets back control. After this, the development before the war is based on projected plans and ships the RN considered, but never got to implement (mainly because the aircraft were not forthcoming from the Air Ministry).
I have tried to make all the changes believable - they are often based on real RN plans and possible designs, the effort required from, for example, aircraft companies was no greater than that which was done in fact. By 1939 the Navy has a much more capable air arm, and as a result is able to consider operations they had been thinking of for many years, as well as respond better to the enemy.
This book covers from 1932 (where the Royal Navy gets control of its air arm back from the RAF), through the pre-war years showing how things start to differ from our history, then into the first part of WW2, from its start in September 1939 through to the early actions in the Med against the Italian fleet, taking in the early actions against surface raiders, the great raid on Wilhelmshaven, the Norway and Battle of Britain campaigns, and actions in Africa and the Med.
Author: David Row
Title: The Whale Has Wings: Rebirth
Series: The Whale Has Wings
First Published by: David Row
Date: 18 March 2013