Author: Geoffrey Brooke
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 2004-10-14
The Author's naval war experiences make the most exciting reading. After being mined on the battleship Nelson in 1939, he served on the Prince of Wales, during the Bismarck action, witnessing the sinking of the Hood and Churchill and Roosevelt's historic meeting. He survived the disastrous sinking by Japanese dive-bombing in December 1941 but within two days of reaching Singapore, the Island fell. Evacuated in a coastal steamer, only to be sunk the next morning, he was stranded on a deserted island for a week before setting out for Ceylon in a native boat. His epic journey covered 1660 miles and took 37 days. Thereafter his adventures continued, with the North African landings, Russian convoys and, returning to the Far East, he was in the carrier Formidable when she was hit twice by Japanese Kamikazes before VI Day August 1945.
Author: Harry Yeide
Release Date: 2005-01-19
The Tank Killers is the story of the American Tank Destroyer Force in North Africa, Italy, and the European Theater during World War II. The tank destroyer (TD) was a bold-if some would say flawed-answer to the challenge posed by the seemingly unstoppable German blitzkrieg. The TD was conceived to be light and fast enough to outmaneuver panzer forces and go where tanks could not. At the same time, the TD would wield the firepower needed to kill any German tank on the battlefield. Indeed, American doctrine stipulated that TDs would fight tanks, while American tanks would concentrate on achieving and exploiting breakthroughs of enemy lines. The Tank Killers follows the men who fought in the TDs from the formation of the force in 1941 through the victory over the Third Reich in 1945. It is a story of American flexibility and pragmatism in military affairs. Tankdestroyers were among the very first units to land in North Africa in 1942. Their first vehicles were ad hoc affairs: Halftracks and weapons carriers with guns no better than those on tanks and thin armor affording the crews considerably less protection. Almost immediately, the crews realized that their doctrine was incomplete. They began adapting to circumstances, along with their partners in the infantry and armored divisions. By the time that North Africa was in Allied hands, the TD had become a valued tank fighter, assault gun, and artillery piece. The reconnaissance teams in TD battalions, meanwhile, had established a record for daring operations that they would continue for the rest of the war. The story continues with the invasion of Italy and finally that of Fortress Europe on 6 June 1944. By now, the brass had decreed that half the force would convert to towed guns, a decision that dogged the affected crews through the end of the war. The TD men encountered increasingly lethal enemies, ever more dangerous panzers that were often vulnerable only to their guns while American tank crews watched in frustration as their rounds bounced harmlessly off the thick German armor. They fought under incredibly diverse conditions that demanded constant modification of tactics. Their equipment became ever more deadly. By VE day, the tank destroyer battalions had achieved impressive records, generally with kill/loss rates heavily in their favor. Yet the Army after the war concluded that the concept of a separate TD arm was so fundamentally flawed that not a single battalion existed after November 1946. The Tank Killers draws heavily on the records of the tank destroyer battalions and the units with which they fought. Veterans of the force add their personal stories.
Author: Edward Raymer
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Release Date: 2012-03-20
On December 7, 1941, as the great battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah lie paralyzed and burning in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a crack team of U.S. Navy salvage divers headed by Edward C. Raymer are hurriedly flown to Oahu from the mainland. The divers have been given a Herculean task: rescue the sailors and Marines trapped below, and resurrect the pride of the Pacific fleet. Now for the first time, the chief diver of the Pearl Harbor salvage operations, Cmdr. Edward C. Raymer, USN (Ret.), tells the whole story of the desperate attempts to save crewmembers caught inside their sinking ships. Descent into Darkness is the only book available that describes the raising and salvage operations of sunken battleships following the December 7th attack. Once Raymer and his crew of divers entered the interiors of the sunken shipwrecks—attempting untested and potentially deadly diving techniques—they experienced a world of total blackness, unable to see even the faceplates of their helmets. By memorizing the ships’ blueprints and using their sense of touch, the divers groped their way hundreds of feet inside the sunken vessels to make repairs and salvage vital war material. The divers learned how to cope with such unseen dangers as falling objects, sharks, the eerie presence of floating human bodies, and the constant threat of Japanese attacks from above. Though many of these divers were killed or seriously injured during the wartime salvage operations, on the whole they had great success performing what seemed to be impossible jobs. Among their credits, Raymer’s crew raised the sunken battleships USS West Virginia, USS Nevada, USS California, After Pearl Harbor they moved on to other crucial salvage work off Guadalcanal and the sites of other great sea battles.
Author: Paul Kemp
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 1993-09-14
During the Second World War, there were over 100 instances of naval engagements between ships, submarines and aircraft of the same side. In the past there has often been a reluctance by the authorities to admit to these losses but with operational records now available, it is possible for historians to explain how a good number of ships and submarines were attacked, damaged or sunk by the forces of their own side.
Author: Matthew B. Wills
Publisher: The History Press
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The biography of a lauded war hero who went down with his ship John Leach embodied the best of the service, and truly was in "the highest traditions of the Royal Navy"—this biography analyzes the influences which shaped him and led him ultimately to his heroic end. On December 10, 1941, the Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales was sunk by Japanese bombers in the South China Sea. Among the several hundred men who went down with her was her Captain, John Leach, who had fought against frightful odds and to the very end made the best of an impossible situation with courage and calmness. This book traces his life from his time at Royal Naval College through his time as commander during the Battle of the Denmark Strait. This is an authoritative portrait of one of the service's finest.
Author: Geoffrey Till
Release Date: 2014-01-15
Using four warship-centered examples, this book shows how naval battles are won or lost—and how technological advantage is rarely as decisive in defeat or victory as is often claimed. • Focuses on four ship-centered battle narratives: the battle of Trafalgar, the battle of Jutland, the sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse, and the Falklands War • Identifies 11 perspectives that explain victory and defeat in naval operations • Provides a history-based survey of successful naval operations while highlighting the nature of naval operations in the 21st century • Presents information written in a clear, reader-friendly style without compromising on its scholarly standards of content and accuracy • Offers fascinating reading for naval college students, general audiences who enjoy naval history, and naval historians alike
HUNTER KILLERS will follow the careers of four daring British submarine captains who risked their lives to keep the rest of us safe, their exploits consigned to the shadows until now. Their experiences encompass the span of the Cold War, from voyages in WW2-era submarines under Arctic ice to nuclear-powered espionage missions in Soviet-dominated seas. There are dangerous encounters with Russian spy ships in UK waters and finally, as the communist facade begins to crack, they hold the line against the Kremlin's oceanic might, playing a leading role in bringing down the Berlin Wall. It is the first time they have spoken out about their covert lives in the submarine service. This is the dramatic untold story of Britain's most-secret service.
Author: Richard Woodman
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 2011-07-06
For the British, the Battle of the Atlantic was a fight for survival. They depended on the safe transit of hundreds of convoys of merchant ships laden with food, raw materials and munitions from America to feed the country and to keep the war effort going, and they had to export manufactured goods to pay for it all. So Britain's merchant navy, a disparate collection of private vessels, became the country's lifeline, while its seamen, officially non-combatants, bravely endured the onslaught of the German U-boat offensive until Allied superiority overwhelmed the enemy.??In this important, moving and exciting book, drawing extensively on first-hand sources, the acclaimed maritime historian Richard Woodman establishes the importance of the British and Allied merchant fleets in the struggle against Germany and elevates the heroic seamen who manned them to their rightful place in the history of the Second World War.
Author: William Geroux
Release Date: 2017-03-21
The Matthews Men tells a heroic story of one extraordinary family whose seven sons (and their neighbors), merchant marines all, suddenly found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the first fleet of U-Boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942. Mathews County, Virginia, a bleak strip of land along the Chesapeake with almost nothing to offer-sent one of the largest concentrations of sea captains and merchant mariners of any community in America to fight in World War II. From the late 30s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled not via the Navy but in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats' prime targets. And they were easy targets-the Navy refused to arm or defend them until the beginning of 1943, and then still came to convoy duty most reluctantly. The Uboat assault was especially vicious, as Hitler was determined to sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore. As the war progressed, men from Mathews sailed the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and even the icy Barents Sea in the Arctic Circle, where they braved the dreaded Murmansk Run. Through their experiences we have eyewitnesses to every danger zone, in every kind of ship. Some died horrific deaths. Others fought to survive torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, shark attacks, mine blasts, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys-only to ship out again on the next boat as soon as they'd returned to safety. The Matthews Men shows us the war far beyond traditional battlefields-much of it just off the US coast-but also takes us to the landing beaches at D Day and to the Pacific. oWhen final victory is ours,o Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, othere is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.o Here, finally, is the heroic story of those sailors, recast as the human story of the men from Mathews.
Author: Bill Cheall
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 2011-07-12
When Bill Cheall joined up in April 1939, he could not have imagined the drama, trauma, rewards and anguish that lay in store. First and foremost a Green Howard, he saw the sharp end of the Nazis Blitzkrieg and was evacuated exhausted. Next step, courtesy of the Queen Mary, was North Africa as part of Montys 8th Army. After victory in Tunisia, the Sicily invasion followed. The Green Howards returned to England to be in the vanguard of the Normandy Landings on GOLD Beach (his colleague, Sergeant Major Stan Hollis won the only VC on 6 June and Bill Cheall was wounded). Once fit, Cheall returned to the war zone and finished the war as a Regimental Policeman in occupied Germany. Bills many and varied experiences make fascinating reading. He tells his story with modesty, humility and humor.
Author: David W. Wragg
Publisher: Haynes Pubns
Release Date: 2001-11-22
The Fleet Air Arm Handbook 1939-45 is the most comprehensive review available of the Royal Navy's air power during the war years. Starting with a brief history, the book progresses with a full war diary of all of the major operations in a gripping narrative account. In-depth analysis reveals what it was like to work as part of the Fleet Air Arm during the war - the food, accommodation, training, activities and uniform; and gives a glimpse into the men's characters. At the outbreak of the Second World War, British naval aviation was in the midst of chaos and confusion. But as this book shows, the rapid expansion of the Fleet Air Arm was one of the major achievements of the war. The author provides a detailed look at the aircraft, squadrons, naval air stations and aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers involved. The book ends with a review of what is available at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.
Author: Craig L. Symonds
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-04-02
Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune, (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds has established himself as one of the finest naval historians at work today. World War II at Sea represents his crowning achievement: a complete narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945. Opening with the 1930 London Conference, Symonds shows how any limitations on naval warfare would become irrelevant before the decade was up, as Europe erupted into conflict once more and its navies were brought to bear against each other. World War II at Sea offers a global perspective, focusing on the major engagements and personalities and revealing both their scale and their interconnection: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords; Mussolini's Regia Marina-at the start of the war the fourth-largest navy in the world-and the dominance of the Kidö Butai and Japanese naval power in the Pacific; Pearl Harbor then Midway; the struggles of the Russian Navy and the scuttling of the French Fleet in Toulon in 1942; the landings in North Africa and then Normandy. Here as well are the notable naval leaders-FDR and Churchill, both self-proclaimed "Navy men," Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Erich Raeder, Inigo Campioni, Louis Mountbatten, William Halsey, as well as the hundreds of thousands of seamen and officers of all nationalities whose live were imperiled and lost during the greatest naval conflicts in history, from small-scale assaults and amphibious operations to the largest armadas ever assembled. Many have argued that World War II was dominated by naval operations; few have shown and how and why this was the case. Symonds combines precision with story-telling verve, expertly illuminating not only the mechanics of large-scale warfare on (and below) the sea but offering wisdom into the nature of the war itself.
Author: Robert William von der Osten
Publisher: Tdss Publishing
Release Date: 2018-03-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Through his journal entries, von der Osten takes us with him to war, from his training days in the newly created amphibious force, to practice beachings on the Chesapeake Bay; from the ports of North Africa and the United Kingdom, to the hostile shores of Sicily, Salerno, and Normandy. All the while serving as a radioman aboard this new kind of ship, the landing ship, tank. Yet LST 388 is not just a sailor's story but the story of a great landing ship, a ship that would sail with the largest armada in history during the invasion of Sicily. A ship that would take three tries to beach at the hostile shore at Salerno, under heavy gunfire. A ship that would land troops on both Omaha Beach and Utah Beach at Normandy. LST 388 is one man's honest accounting of the days leading up to war and what he experienced and witnessed while there. Part narrative, part journal entries, this is an account of history as it was being made.