Admiral of the Fleet Earl Beatty
The Last Naval Hero
Perhaps best known for taking custody of the German fleet in November 1918, Admiral David Beatty was a contradictory character and decorated hero of the Great War. This biography shines equal light on his victories and his failings, including his notorious performance at the Battle of Jutland, his ongoing enmity with fellow officer Sir John Jellicoe and his chequered personal life.
The Royal Navy Lynx
An Operational History
This history of the Lynx helicopter, with first-hand accounts from the people who flew and operated it, presents detailed descriptions of its technical development and insights into its versatility. While designed for anti-submarine warfare it has been used in military operations in the Falklands War and the Gulf but also played a role in Arctic deployments, hurricane relief and drugbusting.
The Royal Navy at Dunkirk
Commanding Officers' Reports of British Warships in Action During Operation Dynamo
While the ‘little ships’ who helped to evacuate the BEF from Dunkirk are rightly celebrated, the Royal Navy’s destroyers, minesweepers and personnel ships were indispensable, transporting a large proportion of those rescued back to England. In the aftermath of Operation Dynamo, the Admiralty required ships’ Commanding Officers to submit the reports that are the basis of this book, detailing first-hand the chaos, improvization, skill and bravery that were required.
Living Life and Avoiding Death on a Nuclear Submarine
In 1985, as an adventurous 18-year-old, Richard Humphreys joined the Submarine Service. In this account of his five years as a submariner, he describes the claustrophobia of being crammed into a 340 x 33 foot tube with 140 other men for months at a time, the dread of being discovered by the Soviets, and the knowledge that he was sitting on top of one of the most destructive weapons ever devised.
The Royal Naval Air Service in the First World War
Aircraft and Events as Recorded in Official Documents
This collection of original documents records First World War air missions involving the Royal Naval Air Service (which would be merged with the RFC to form the RAF in 1918). Accompanied by numerous illustrations and reproductions of official paperwork, charts and flying maps, it provides insight into seaplane recovery and experiments with hydrovanes and flotation gear.
The Naval Flank of the Western Front
The German MarineKorps Flandern 1914–1918
German raids on British shipping in the Channel were a constant problem for the Royal Navy and attempts were made to neutralize the threat from Belgian ports, including scuttling ships to block Zeebrugge harbour in 1918. This history reviews the activities of the MarineKorps Flandern during the war and the British responses, and contains a section of contemporary photographs.
The Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was the only major naval engagement of the First World War, and also the last major conflict in world history fought mainly by battleships. This 1964 account takes a measured view of the many controversies surrounding the action, the subsequent disagreements within the British establishment, and the fleets’ competing claims to have won the battle.
The Sea Takes No Prisoners
The Men and Ships of the Royal Navy in the Second World War
Over 125 Royal Navy men and women give accounts of their wartime experiences in this book collated by an ex-naval medic. Chosen from the Imperial War Museum’s audio archive, the transcripts show the variety of life at sea, including the boredom, fear and moments of humour, with chapters dedicated to the contributions of the WRNS and the Boy Seamen as well as an epilogue following their post-war lives.
The Anthony Roll of Henry VIII's Navy
Pepys Library 2991 and British Library Additional MS 22047 with Related Documents
In 1546, at a crucial point in the history of the navy, Anthony Anthony, an officer of the ordnance, compiled a complete visual record of the royal ships in three separate rolls. In this volume, all 58 ship illustrations are reproduced in colour, with their accompanying texts on the facing pages. There is also a full transcript of an inventory of the King’s ships from 1514 and essays on topics including Anthony’s artworks and the Ordnance.
The Royal Navy
100 Years of Maritime Warfare in the Modern Age
Produced in association with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, this exploration of the service’s campaigns since 1914 also features removable facsimile documents and ephemera including pages from a sketchbook showing the action at the Battle of Jutland, a report from the captain of one of the destroyers involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk and the commanding officer’s ‘design for battle’ notes for the amphibious landing at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands in 1982.
The Great War at Sea
A Naval Atlas 1914–1919
Establishing control of the seas was a significant factor in eventually forcing the Central Powers to surrender in 1918. The complex struggle all over the world is traced in this naval analysis through 125 maps. Identifying the vessels involved, their courses, manoeuvres and engagements, the charts describe key operations such as the Battle of Jutland and the Dardanelles campaign as well as skirmishes, raids and U-boat activities up to the scuttling of the German fleet in 1919.
The Last Voyage of the Lusitania
The sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat in 1915 was a historic event, not just because it was the most famous ship afloat and 1,200 people died, but because it was instrumental in bringing the United States into the war. First published in the 1950s, this analysis of the disaster draws on survivors' accounts and naval records to reconstruct the last days of the luxury liner.
The Seasick Admiral
Nelson and the Health of the Navy
Nelson never enjoyed robust health, and was even seasick when he first set sail. As this book demonstrates, it was his experience of illness and the serious injuries he suffered that made him uniquely aware of the importance of health and fitness to the Navy, using his fame and influence to improve the welfare of his men through better diet, shipboard hygiene, more modern surgical practices and greater attention to convalescence and aftercare.
Master and Madman
The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN
Although press-ganged into the Navy, and prone to bouts of lunacy, Lockwood (c.1775–1855) enjoyed a successful career and became Surveyor General of New Brunswick. Driven by a desire to instil democracy, he attempted to stage a coup, but his subsequent imprisonment and state of mind saw him ending his days in a London asylum.
In Pursuit of the Essex
A Tale of Heroism and Hubris in the War of 1812
In the 1812 war between Britain and America, USS Essex destroyed a British whaling fleet. The ship’s pursuit by HMS Phoebe, and their deadly confrontation at Valparaiso, are explained here using official reports, newspaper articles, letters and a sailor’s newly discovered memoir.
The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster
Wilhelm Canaris remains one of the most mysterious and contradictory members of the Nazi regime. As head of military intelligence, he played a vital role in Hitler’s plans, while at the same time encouraging and protecting the Führer’s opponents. This biography assesses his career in the navy and in espionage, his part in the right-wing coups of 1919–20, and his feelings about the party he served, which eventually claimed his life.
British Campaigns in the South Atlantic 1805–1807
Operations in the Cape and River Plate and their Consequences
Overshadowed by the events of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, British military campaigns in the South Atlantic in 1805–7 nevertheless had a profound effect in shaping the destiny of the Cape Colony and Spanish possessions in South America. Describing the capture of Cape Town and the ultimately unsuccessful attacks on Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this analysis also assesses the longer-term repercussions in encouraging independence movements in South America and shaping the population and politics of South Africa.
Support for the Fleet
Architecture and Engineering of the Royal Navy's Bases 1700–1914
The culmination of years of painstaking research by Jonathan Coad, the foremost architectural historian of the royal dockyards, this English Heritage volume charts the history of the construction, establishment and evolution of the Royal Navy’s bases – including dockyards, ordnance yards, naval hospitals, barracks and associated buildings – during the periods of expansion after the Napoleonic wars and global dominance during the 19th century.
The Untold Story
During the Battle of Crete in 1941, HMS Gloucester was attacked by dive bombers and sunk; 83 of the 810 crew were rescued by German vessels the following day. Including first-hand accounts from survivors, this volume tells the ship’s story from its launch in 1937, investigating in particular the controversial circumstances of its sinking and the failure of any British ship to search for survivors.
The Last Big Gun
At War and at Sea with HMS Belfast
The Battle of the North Cape off the coast of Norway was one of the last ship-to-ship engagements fought and HMS Belfast was among the British contingent that sunk the German battleship Scharnhorst. This history of the cruiser tells its story in the context of the wider role of the Royal Navy in the Second World War as well as reviewing its post-war duties before it assumed its present role as a museum ship.
Firing on Fortress Europe
HMS Belfast at D-Day
The Royal Navy took the lead in the highly complex task of delivering the largest invasion force in history to the Normandy beaches, supporting the attack with thousands of vessels and building temporary harbours to keep them supplied long after the first landings. This lesser-known side of the D-Day story is told through a collection of first-hand accounts of sailors aboard HMS Belfast and illustrated with contemporary photographs, sketches and paintings.
The Story of the War from the Battlefront, 1939–45
Following a tradition dating back to 1545, naval commanders would write an official despatch to the Admiralty to explain their actions during significant naval operations. This collection of despatches, published in association with the National Archives, covers events which impacted hugely on the Second World War, including the convoys in the Mediterranean and Russia, amphibious operations such as Dieppe, the evacuation of Crete, and the assault phase of the Normandy landings.
The Gathering Storm
The Naval War in Northern Europe: September 1939–April 1940
From the fall of Poland in September 1939, to the invasion of Norway in April 1940, the Norwegian historian Geirr Haarr describes fierce naval struggles, including the sinking of Courageous, the German mining of the British East Coast and the Altmark incident. In this meticulously detailed study, Haarr shows that there was no ‘phoney war’ at sea in those early months of the Second World War.
The Cultural History of a Catastrophe
The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 by a German U-boat, drowning nearly 1,200 civilian passengers, including 128 Americans, was greeted with jubilation by the German establishment and press. Although it resulted in America’s entry into the First World War, it also marked the beginning of a new kind of brutality in German warfare which, Willi Jasper argues in this erudite study, precipitated the totalitarian violence for which Germany became notorious.
Nelson's Right Hand Man
The Life and Times of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Fremantle
The 42-year naval career of Sir Thomas Fremantle (1765–1819) spanned a period when British naval power was crucial; his first experience of war was the American War of Independence, and he fought alongside his friend Nelson at Bastia, Tenerife, Copenhagen and, as captain of HMS Neptune, at Trafalgar. Drawing on personal letters and diaries, this biography paints a vivid picture of one of the Georgian navy’s greatest sea captains.
Fuehrer Conferences on Naval Affairs 1939-1945
Facing defeat in 1945, Hitler ordered the destruction of official military documents. Admiral Dönitz defied the order, believing that the German navy had fought an honourable war and had nothing to hide. The result was the survival of these first-hand accounts, written without hindsight, of Hitler's meetings with his naval commanders-in-chief, Raeder and Dönitz, and other high-ranking officers. This edition contains the original Anthony Martienssen translation made for the British Admiralty and first published in 1947.
The Battle of the River Plate
The First Naval Battle of the Second World War
The first encounter at sea of the Second World War took place along the South American coast when three British ships inflicted enough damage on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee to corner it in Montevideo harbour. The captain, encouraged by British misinformation, chose to scuttle his ship rather than face destruction. This account of the famous episode was first published in 1956 and also contains the official despatch from the British commander.
The location, strength and operational status of enemy ships was of primary concern to the belligerent nations during the Second World War, with the threat of powerful vessels such as Tirpitz significantly affecting military planning. Aerial and surface reconnaissance photographs were acquired whenever possible and this book presents a collection of such images, drawn from contemporary intelligence files, assessing the vessels of the German, Italian, French and Japanese navies. Former USAF photo interpreter Roy Stanley provides expert commentary.
The Sword of Albion
Strong-minded yet vulnerable, ambitious yet insecure, Britain's greatest naval hero was a man in need of constant reassurance. Wellington thought him 'so vain and silly as to surprise and almost disgust me'. This second volume of Sugden's authoritative biography charts Nelson's life from 1797 to his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Drawing on letters and diaries, it interweaves his victories at the Nile and Copenhagen with his stormy relations with colleagues and his scandalous private life.
Godfather to British Naval Aviation
Frank McClean's inherited wealth allowed him to indulge his passion for flying in the early years of the 20th century, and his provision of training planes and a site for a Royal Navy flying school were crucial in establishing a British military aviation capability before the First World War. This illustrated biography examines McClean's influence as well as his own pioneering exploits, which included a headline-grabbing flight up the Thames, passing under the bridges, and an expedition up the Nile.
A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy
The 20th century was a time of unprecedented change and action for the Royal Navy. The service's senior officers during this period included celebrated figures such as Jackie Fisher and Louis Mountbatten, and hundreds more whose names are not so well remembered. This reference work contains nearly 1,500 pages of biographical accounts of more than 300 admirals, in PDF format on a CD-Rom. The accompanying book provides background information on terminology, rank structure and career progression in the Navy.