|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
Military Operations, and Navy Diving, 'Frogmen'.
See also author: Peter Keeble. See also separate webpage US Military operations, Submarines,Royal Navy Diving Manual
|A NAVAL SCRAPBOOK 1877 - 1900
Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon
|A VERY RUDE AWAKENING
The Night the Japanese Midget Subs Came to Sydney Harbour.
Allen ? Unwin, Sydney, 2007.
Softcover (as reviewed), 320 pages, index, bibliography, mono photographs. (There may have been a hard-cover edition).
From the blurb: On the night of 31 May 1942, Sydney was doing what it d best: partying. The theatres, restaurants, dance halls, illegal gambling dens, clubs and brothels offered plenty of choice t roistering sailors, soldiers and airmen on leave in Australia's most glamorous city. The war seemed far away. Newspapers devoted more pages to horseracing than to Hitler.
That Sunday night the party came to a shattering halt when three Japanese midget submarines crept into the harbour, past eight electronic indicator loops, six patrolling Royal Australian Navy ships, and an anti-submarine net stretched across the inner harbour entrance. Their arrival triggered a night of mayhem, courage, chaos and high farce, which left 27 sailors dead and a city bewildered. The war, it seemed, was no longer confined to distant desert and jungle. It was right at Australia's front door. Written at the pace of a thriller and based on new first-person accounts and previously unpublished official documents, A Very Rude Awakening is a ground-breaking and myth-busting look at one of the most extraordinary stories ever told of Australia at war. [ps]
|ABOVE US THE WAVES
The Story of Midget Submarines and Human Torpedoes.
C.E.T. Warren and James Benson.
Forword by Admiral Sir George Creasy.
First published in Great Britain, September 1953 by George G. Harrap ? Co., London.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 256 pages, a few mono prints and maps.
Covers the naval operations in underwater demolition in the Mediterranean Sea , Norway, around British waters, and ‘the Far East' during the Second World War. This is perhaps the most authorative and most respected of the ‘frogmen' books, quite detailed and a bit daunting to wade through, but nevertheless an important contribution to our knowledge of underwater warfare.
|CHARIOTS OF THE SEA
Subtitle: The Story of Britain’s Human Torpedoes During The Second World War
Published by: Richard Netherwood Ltd, Huddersfield, UK in 1998.
Printed card covers; 248 printed pages. Dimensions: 21.5 cms tall by 13.5 cms wide.
Pamela Mitchell was a WREN during the second world war and became interested in the exploits of the “Charioteers”. It is a book put together from the personal experiences of the men who were there, actual “Charioteers”, particularly from Sid Woolcott DSM, but they all saw service in Norway, the Mediterranean and the Far East. The book is divided into 6 sections and again each section is sub-divided into chapters:
Part 1 – Early Stages: “The very First Chariot Dive” and “The Guinea Pigs”, Part 2 – Developing The Equipment: “We Built The Chariots”, “Developing Diving Gear, The Sladen Suit”, “The Trials of Transporting Chariots” and Training Work-Ups in Portsmouth Harbour: Helmet Diving”. Part 3 – Northern Waters: “Working Up In Loch Erisort”, “A Mishap In Loch Corrie”, “Holes in the Loch and Other Hazzards”, “It Happened Under Loch Cairnbawn” and “Operation TITLE The First Chariot Attempt to Sink the Tirpitz”. Part 4 – The Mediterranean: “Activities in Malta”, “Operation Principal”, “Taken Prisoner”, “Uperation WELCOME and Its Aftermath” and “A Underwater Stroll up a Sicillian Beach With A Headless Chariot”. Part 5 – Norway By Motor Gunboat: “The La Spezia Affair”, “En Route For Norway”, “An M.G.B.’s Passage Across The North Sea and its Aftermath”, “The econd and Third Abortive Chariot Operations In Norway”, “Operation BARBARA” and “Working-up in Loch Cairbawn on the Mk II’s”. Part 6 – The Far East: “Out East”, “The Phuket Operation”, “Sleeping Beauties in the Far East”, “The End of the War” and “A Summing Up of the Role Played by Chariots”. The book is so well illustrated with relevant photographs and diagrams, there are too many to count. Just take my word for it, an excellent read! Pamela Mitchell also wrote another book in 1993 called “The Tip of the Spear”, about “X Craft”. [pt]
|CHARIOTS OF WAR
With Forward by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
Robert W. Hobson
Published by Ulric Publishing, Stretton, Shropshire, England; published 2004.
Hard cover with cloth boards and dust jacket, 162 printed pages
Dimensions 30.5 cms tall by 21.5 cms wide.
Robert Hobson didn’t realise his father was a WW 2 charioteer until he discovered secret documentation of his fathers wartime experiences. Upon his father’s death, he found several old suitcases and one contained documents from WW 2 marked “TOP SECRET”. The suitcase contained all the records from his father’s work as a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) Lieutenant Commander charioteer. This sparked off a lot of detailed research culminating with this book. The book is divided into five extremely well illustrated chapters:
1. Origins of the Breathing Apparatus and Diving Suit. 2. The Origins of the Chariot. 3. The Italian Pilots. 4. The British Charioteers. 5. The Chariots Post 1945. The book solely concentrates on the WW 2 charioteers, never documented in such minute detail before. In the lengthy introduction, the author also documents the paths his research took him including the reproduction of a chariot and meetings with various British and Italian WW 2 charioteers. There is also an appendix where the author has listed British and Italian charioteers by name and added a bibliography of related books. [pt]
|COMBAT BENEATH THE SEA
Subtitle: A New Chapter in the History of Warfare
Major Willy-Charles Brou.
Published by: Thomas Y Crowell Company, New Youk, USA in 1957.
Blue hard back covers with dustjacket; 240 printed pages. Dimensions: 21 cms tall by 14.5 cms wide
Contains accounts of the underwater operations in WWII, details of frogmen, human torpedoes and midget submarines. The book starts in 1935 in Italy and their equivalent to the chariots – regerred to in the book as “sea-swine”! The book also covers the British Chariots, the German “Kampf-schwimmer”, Japanese “Fukuryu” and the American “Underwater Demolition Teams”. The book is divided into 16 chapters: “Sea Swine”, “The Olterra”, “The Gamma Men”, “Algiers”, “The Human Torpedo Mk 1”, “Ther Joint Attack on La Spezia”, “Midget Submarines”, “The Training of he Diver-Frogmen”, “The Laksevaag”, “Frogmen and Underwater Demolition Teams”, “Commando Frogmen”, “Underwater Demolition Teams in the Pacific”, “Operation Hardjob”, “The German Kampfschwimmer”, “The Pontoon Bridge at Linz” and “The Happy Draggons”. The text is illustrated with 14 monochrome photographs. [pt]
|COMBAT FROGMEN: MILITARY DIVING FROM
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY.
Patrick Stephens Limited United Kingdom, 1989. Dust jacket. Hard back, 218 pages, bibliography, index, mainly mono prints, colour plates.
From the fly blurb: Dangerous, clandestine, shadowy. This is the world of combat frogmen, below the surface of rivers, lakes, estuaries, dock areas and seas. A giant arena in which covert units of swimmers and divers are able to carry out military operations in conditions of great secrecy, infiltrating for reconnaissance missions, and committing acts of devastating destruction against enemy targets of vital strategic importance. The underwater environment is cold and cruel, and these highly-trained combat units face a great variety of lethal hazards, undertaking tasks as diverse as mining enemy shipping and constructing river crossings. The men chosen to operate under water represent the elite of their nations' fighting forces: the Royal Marines' Special Boat Squadron, the Special Air Service Boat Troops, the US SEALs and Green Berets, the French Fusiliers Marins, and the Soviet Spetsnaz. This book is an account of these men ,and the dangerous field of conflict in which they operate. It investigates their selection and training, and gives graphic accounts of actual operations, looking also at the development of their specialist equipment, some of which conld come straight from the pages of science fiction. Michael Welham served with the Royal Marines as a diver/parachutist and saw active service in Aden, later transferring to the SAS and 9S Commando Special Forces. After a time as a commercial diver in industry, he is now a writer and researcher on military subjects, and operates a military picture library. [ps]
by Marshall Pugh.
First edition August 1956. Reprinted 1956.
Macmillan and Company Limited.
Printed in great Britain.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 166 pages, mono prints. Cover shown is th Macmillan, London, edition. [ps]
He disappeared on 19 April 1956 - ‘presumed drowned' - under bizarre and controversial circumstances whilst diving in Portsmouth harbour.
FROGMAN - COMMANDER CRABB'S STORY.
Copyright 1957. Angus ? Robertson, London, Melbourne, Sydney.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 216 pages, mono photographs.
Covers the midget submrine attacks on Japanese vessels in the Johore Strait, one of whom was commanded by the author. The target was the Takao which he put on the bottom in a most dangerous operation. "However, this is more than a naval story; and perhaps here rests its charm. Fraser's exploiut and his supreme decoration placed him on a wave of popular accalim. The popular acclaim could not last, and he had to live, and succeed. How he established a prosperous salvaging firm ... etc etc".
First published in 1960 by Neville Spearman Limited, London.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 180 pages, mono plates in separate sections.
'The Counter Espionage Book of the Year. Crabb Alive in Russia'. States rather provocatively that "Crabb was not drowned", and was captured by the Russians in April 1956, take aboard the Ordzhonikidze, flown by helicopter to Stetin, then plane to Moscow, whilst heavily drugged.
|FROGMEN FIRST BATTLES
William Schofield and P. J. Carisella
Published by: Branden Publishing Company, Boston, USA in 1987.
Green hard back covers with dustjacket: 187 printed pages. Dimensions: 23.5 cms tall by 15.5 cms
The book chronicles the stories of the frogmen from the Italian Tenth Light Flotilla, and the British Royal Navy, many of the stories were told directly by the men who were there. There is even a record of a planned raid on New York Harbour on Christmas Eve, 1943. The Italians and British were enemies until they joined forces when Italy left the “Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis”. There are 23 chapters: “Target New York”, “Across Three Wars”, “Assignment: Special Weapons”, “Rebirth at Serchio”, “Too Bold, Too Soon”, “Borghese Came Aboard”, “Mission West, Mission East”, “Scuttled Hopes”, “Return to the Rock”, “Inside Gibraltar”, “Victory at Suda Bay”, “Eyes on Malta”? “Two Minutes to Disaster”, “Pause for Recovery”, “To Cadiz for Briefing”, “Victory at Gibraltar”, “Focus Alexandria”, “Clean Sweep”, “Change of Tactics”, “Gibraltar, in Residence”, “Assignment Africa”, “Targets of Chromium” and “Attack that Never Came”. Illustrated with numerous monochrome photographs and diagrams. [pt]
The Incedible Case of Commander Crabb.
J. Bernard Hutton.
First published in 1960 by Neville Spearman Limited, London. (My edition publisshed by McDowell, Obolensky, New York, no date).
The loss of Commander Crabb in 19 April 1956 has sparked much debate and bitterness between Great Britain and Russia. This account draws much from official statements taken at he time. I cannot comment on its value in comparison to other books on the subject, but it appears authoritive.
|GERMAN COMBAT DIVERS IN WORLD WAR
Published by: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, Atglen, PA, USA in 2008.
Printed hard back cover with matching dustjacket; 159 printed pages. Dimensions: 23.5 cms tall by 16 cms wide.
The book clams to be the first complete history of the German combat divers in the second world war. The book looks at military diving, the development of technical equipment and the establishment/organisation of the German combat divers units and finally, their deployment in sabotage operations. It also discloses for the first time the unknown story of the “Sea Commando Battalion Brandenburg” and the navy’s “Combat Diver Training Detachment 700” which emerged from it. The book is split into 10 chapters: “Military Diving in Earlier Times”, “Early History”, “From Underwater Film Maker to Sabotage Specialist”, “Combat Diver with the Abwehr”, “Training with the Gamma Combat Divers”, “Liaison Officer to the Decima Mas”, “Valdango – Combat Diving as a Sporting Challenge”, “Sea Training in San Giorgio on Alga”, “Combat Operations” and “Collapse and New Beginnings”. Very, very well illustrated with monochrome photographs and drawing – much of the equipment used. [pt]
THE U.S. NAVY SEALS.
Gary Stubblefieldwith Hans Halberstadt.
Softcover, 192p, mono photographs.
The SEALS are the US Navy's special underwater operationalgroup - although I don't believe that naywhere in the book do they tellyou what the acronym stands for. But if real-life adventure is your kick,then this is an interesting book. Covers operations from their formationduring WW2 through to Korea, Veitnam and present day. I had no idea seventeenmarines were killed by Malaysian pirates in a botched-up kidnap rescueattempt in 1975. Very interesting.
|JUST OUT OF SIGHT
A. W. C. Eldridge DSC, MSM
Published by: Minerva Press, London in 1998.
Printed card covers; 320 printed pages. Dimensions: 20 cms tall by 13 cms wide.
This tells the authors personal accounts of his life from a small child to volunteering in WW2 for “special service” which led him to become a “charioteer” and work with midget submarines (including the Sleeping Beauty”. Later in life he moved to Rhodesia and worked in the police’s anti terrorist unit. Divided into 13 chapters: “1939 to 1942”, “The Navy”, “Special and Hazardous Service”, “HMS Alecto”, “Bigger and Better”, “The Far East”, “Ceylon Secret Operation 51”, “Another Year in Trinco”, “Minesweeping”, “In Between”, “UDI and My Second War”, “War”, and “where are They Now”.
Illustrated with 17 monochrome photographs including one of himself and Petty Officer Smith dressed in Sladen Suits aboard HMS Bonaventure meeting HM King George VI. [pt]
|K-MEN The Story of the German Frogmen
and Midget Submarines
C.D.Bekker. Preface by Hellmuth Heye, formerly Admiral of K-Force.
William Kimber, London, 1955. (No indication of a German edition).
Hardcover, dustjacket, 202 pages, mono photographs.
From the fly: This book tells the whole excitingstory of how the Germans, influenced by the British X-craft attack on the Tirpitz and the Italian frogmen in the Mediterranean, formed what they called naval "Kommandos" and used them in daring exploits against the Western Allies and the Russians in the later stages of the last war. The Kommandos not only operated as frogmen, but also they manned midget submarines and human torpedoes and piloted explosive boats by remote control. The author, himself a former German naval officer, spent nearly two years interviewing surviving K-men, and in these pages he recounts their dangerous and often fatal task with a skill which brings to life the tension and the risks they had to run. The K-men's objectives ranged from ships of the Allied invasion fleet and the bridges and harbours vital to the invading forces, to pirate warfare in the Adriatic Sea and operations against theRussians in the river Oder. This thrilling account of the K-men's adventures will be read with the greatestinterest by those who enjoyed such books as V-boat 977 and Swastika at Sea. [ps]
FORCES UNDER THE SEA - A Look Back, A Look Ahead.
United States Naval Academy, and Office of Naval research.
It starts out with a veritable who's who of top navy brass and civilkians associated with naval diving, and is based on a symposium held at the U.S.Naval Academy in 2001. Divided into three sections covering - Submarine Search and Rescue, Naval Special Warfare, Diving and Salvage - this large format full colour book contains a wealth of infomation presented by some one hundred experts in their field. The content is predominantly their papers as presented, with comment and question. Hardcover, laminated boards, lrge A4 format, 320 pges, full colour throughout.
FIGHT FAIR .
Navy SEALs Stories of Combat and Adventure From the Geminispacecraft landing to the Achille Lauro hi-jacking, from Libya to Vietnam,the SEALs have been involved in the finest military action. All this makesfor great reading, building up the testosterone and the wishful thinkingof being one of America's elite fighting men. This book is full of adventure,from first hand accounts and personal interviews. A great read of ‘real-lifeadventure'.
Hardcovcer, dustjacket, no photos, 340 pages.
Diving as a Guest of the Emperor 1942.
Robert C. Sheats.
Softcover, 94 pages.
Sheats is a US Navy Master Diver captured in the Philippinesin 1942 in the early years of World War 2. He was forced by the Japaneseto dive for silver worth $8 million, dumped by the US forces off Corregidorwhen Japanese capture was inevitable. His experience as a diver attemptingto survive and yet to sabotage the Japanese war effort shows the desperationthat man has in clinging to life. The author also provides a valuable insightinto the Vietnam war.
|OPEN THE PORTS
Subtitle: The Story of Human Minesweepers
J. Grosvenor and L. M. Bates
Published by: William Kimber ? Co Ltd, London in 1956.
Blue coloured hard covers with dustjacket - 199 printed pages. Dimensions: 22 cms tall by 14.5 cms wide
This book describes a special branch of the navy which was formed to clear mines from sea ports as the allies invaded Europe in 1944. It was believed (quite rightly) that harbours would be mined and booby trapped by the Germans to delay any speedy advance of the allies. The book is split into two parts and in turn, each section is split into chapters: Part 1 – The Proving Time: “The Beginning”, “The Planners”, “Taking Shape”, “Training the First Parties”, “HMS Firework”, “Cherbourg” and “Vindication”. Part 2 – From Strength to Strength: “Training at Barrow”, “Bailey at Oustreham”, “New Base at Brixham”, “Further Triumphs”, “HMS Vernon (D)”, “Great Days”, “Bremen and After”, “Tidying Up”. In the appendix, there is a list of men and the awards they were given. The list stretches over 3 pages and decorations include George Cross, George Medal, B.E.M., and many “mentioned in Despatches”. Very well illustrated with eight monochrome photographs including a “Mine Recovery Suit” and a “P Party” member wearing a Sladen Suit”. [pt]
|ORDEAL BY WATER
Longmans, Green and Co. London. First published 1957. See author Peter Keeble webpage.
Full REVIEW of this book. One of the best book on salvage that I have read.
From the fly:
In the closing days of 1941, a dramatic summons from Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham fetched the author of this book from his minesweeper in Alexandria harbour to the Commander-in-Chief's flagship, to be dispatched to South Africa on a mission of desperate urgency. His task was to raise men and equipment to augment the almost negligible salvage ; force then operating in the Middle East - a force whose inadequacy had been revealed by the successful Italian two-man submarine attack on the battleships Valiant and Queen Elizabeth at their berths in Alexandria. This opened a new career for Lt-Cdr. Peter Keeble in the highly experimental field of Naval Salvage, and a few months later he found himself dropping into the luke-warm waters of the Red Sea harbour of Massawa in a diving suit he hardly knew how to control. It was his first salvage operation, and from this uncertain beginning he rose ultimately to command, as Fleet Salvage Officer, Eastern Mediterranean and Levant, a powerful force of auxiliary vessels, salvage ships, rescue tugs and lifting craft. But; to the end of the war, Lt.-Cdr. Keeble continued to grapple at first hand with the ever-varying problems that marine salvage presented. In the deepest dive of his career he entered a sunken V-boat ,in a boffin-commissioned search for a top- secret device to which, he knew, a demolition charge had been wired. On another occasion, he and his men acted as human minesweepers when they crawled about the bottom of a Greek harbour, marking the mines with buoys. And with one of his Petty Officers, in what the great authority, Sir Robert Davis, has described as "perhaps the most outstanding under- water cutting operation ever undertaken", he burnt the damaged screws off Valiant in the course of an ordeal that has left its marks on him to this day. [ps]
|ROYAL NAVY DIVING MANUAL
See separate webpage for a com[rehensive description of the many editions of this respected manual.
|SEA DEVILS - SUICIDE SQUAD.
J. Valerio Borghese
Translated from the Italian Decima Flottiglia Mas byJames Cleugh, and adapted by the author.
|SOFTLY TREAD THE BRAVE
Original edition published by Angus ? Robertson Ltd.., Sydney, 1960. Hardcover, dustjacket; Octavo size 8vo. or.cl.; 294pp illustrations.
"Australian mine-disposal officers in England during World War Two."
Edition described and shown is special edition published
by Readers Book Club, Sydney, in association with The Companion Book Club,
London. No date.
Diver. (Special Response Team). Revised edition 1999.
Mark V. Lonsdale
Softcover, 340pages, many mono photos - some not so nice to look at!
Covers the role of SRT Diver, team training and structure,SRT diving and euipment, surface suplied equipment, surface supplied procedure,haz-mat diving, support equipment, maintenance, riggings and lifting, photographyand video. Deployment - by land and sea, by air with helicopters and fixedwingaircraft. SAR operations: diver rescue procedures, underwater search methods,aquatic rescue, penetration diving, investigation and recovery. Tacticaloperations: training, equipment, closed-circuit breathing apparatus, tactical principles, intelligence operations, underwater search, assaults. A fascinating book for the amateur sport diver but a very valuable book for anyone involved in any aspect of professional diving, particularly in police work, State Emeergency Services, search and rescue.
|THE FAKE DEFECTOR
Subtitle: The Truth About Commander Crabb, The Most Sensational Real-Life Espionage Story of the Age.
J Bernard Hutton
Published by: Howard Baker, London in 1970.
Hard back covers with dustjacket, 220 printed pages. Dimensions: 22 cms tall by 14 cms wide
This book continues from where the author’s books from 1960 left off? It outlines Crabb’s disappearance in 1956 and the subsequent recovery of a headless and handless corpse in Chichester harbour. However, the author believed and documents in this book that Crabb was not dead but was drugged, taken to Moscow and was then in the Soviet Navy under a new name of “First Lieutenant Lev Lvovich Karoblov”? Divided into 20 chapters; “The Fake Defector”, “Crabb Swallowed the Bait”, “Journey to Samara”, “The Trap is Sprung”, “Missing – Presumed Dead”, “Breakfast With Zhabotin”, “Trouble in the House”, “Point of No Return”, “A Message for Patricia”, “Question of Identity”, “Strangers in a Train”, “Details from Moscow”, “Sound and Fury”, “Third Officer Smith”, “Icebreakers In Difficulties”, “The Woman From Turkey”, “Riddle of a Skull”, “Clamp-Down at Boltenhagen”, “Naval Fabel” and “Soviet Blackmail”. Very well illustrated with 19 monochrome photographs, including three of what was believed to be Crabb in the Russian navy? [pt]
The Story of the Wartime Underwater Operations.
T.J. Waldron and James Gleeson.
|.||THE FROGMEN OF BURMA - The
Story of the Sea Reconnaissance Unit.
Lt. Comdr. Bruce S Wright.
Forward by earl Mountbatten.
The Wartime Story of Human Torpedoes and Midget Submrines.
C.E.T Warren and James Benson.
|THE PRICE OF ADMIRALTY
Paul McGuire, and Frances McGuire.
Oxford University Press, Melbourne, London, 1944.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 328 pages, mono prints.
From blurb: This book interprets the meaning of seapower, its part in our history and the great value and use of our Navy. The book describs the life of a man, the late Commander J.H.Walker, and of his ship HMAS Parramatta. It tells of the development of the Royal Australian Navy, the maning to Australia of seapower; the formation and experience of an Australian naval officer at home and abroad.' The Parramatta was lost at Tobruk. This entry doesn't really belong here in classoc dive books, but I like the cover!!!
|THE REAL X-MEN
Subtitle: The Heroic Story of the Underwater War 1942-45)
First published in the UK 2015 by Quercus Editions Ltd
I found this a very interesting account of underwater warfare by the British in World War II. Initially the book goes back to the secret clandestine work done by the Italians in the run up to WW II and their attempts to destroy or disable allied ships by various methods up to the eventual success attacking HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth in Alexandria Harbour.
The British response is well covered from first hand accounts. It begins with the development of the Chariots and the oxygen experiments at Siebe Gorman. The accounts, taken from many personal records of the time, describe what happened at the Admiralty Experimental Diving Unit (ADEU) under the command of Captain Shelford and eminent scientists like Professor Sir Bernard Hill and J B S Haldane. The experiments are graphically explained from personal accounts, even down to the symptoms of Oxygen Pete, a description given to the onset of oxygen toxicity. Several of the guinea pigs suffered oxygen poisoning and several died as a result.
Other accounts are taken from personal diaries to describe the work and development of the British Mk I Chariot and the attempts to sink the Tirpitz. It also goes on to document the work of the chariots in the Mediterranean under the command of “Tiny” Fell. X-Craft design and training is also described in great detail, including the planning and attack on the Tirpitz.
Other underwater ideas are well described and covered including the Welman Submarine, the Sleeping Beauty and the Mk II Chariot. Work done by the X-Craft in preparation for the D-Day landings is also well described as in their use to take beach samples and guide the invasion fleet into cleared beaches.
Towards the end of the war, the X-Craft (now renamed XE-Craft) moved operations to the Far East and Pacific. Initially the American command had no active duties for the miniature submarines but eventually they were detailed to cut telephone cables used by the Japanese which they did successfully. Then from Ian Fraser’s and Mick Magennis’s personal diaries, the attack on the Japanese Cruiser, Takao is described.
The book concludes with all the citations for all the Victoria Cross’s awarded to people mentioned in the book: Lt Charles Place, Lt Donald Cameron, Leading Seaman Joseph James (Mick) Magennis and Lt. Ian Fraser. There is also a section entitled In Memoriam, which includes a list of all chariot and X-Craft crew that died during the war.
The book, published in paperback, has 314 printed pages, includes a glossary of abbreviations, terms used and acknowledgements. There are 11 monochrome photographs plus two maps illustrating the book.
I found the book a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting read and would recommend it to anyone with similar interests to me.
For more information about Robert Lyman, the author, he has a web site: www.robertlyman.com
First published 1960, Cassell ? Co, London.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 236 pages, mono photographs.
This is the first of the two major books written by Captain William Richard Fell, who was born in New Zealand.
From the fly blurb: When the time for Captain Fell to retire from the Royal Navy approached he had little idea of what he wanted to do except remain as closely connected with the sea as possible. His chance came when he was offered the job of clearing the war damage from the harbour at Malta, part of it a seemingly impossible task. On completion of this, Captain Fell was retired from the Royal Navy and immediately re-employed by the Ad- miraltyas a Grade 1 Salvage Officer. His first task in this new capacity was the testing of submarines by submerging. them until the water pressure collapsed their hulls, a long job, but with a spec- tacular climax. After this, he continued for some years as salvage officer in various parts of Great Britain charged with the job of clearing up after the war, work which included the salvaging of H.M.S. Wave, who went aground at St. Ives in a howling gale, and the cutting up and disposal of a sunken mine-layer con- taining over 500 live mines. Then came his biggest assignment- the epic operation of the clearance of Port Said in 1956. He was sent out to take charge of the heartbreaking task of trying to open the harbour against all the obstruction and political shilly-shallying and lobbying that the Egyptians and. others could bring to bear. Captain Fell describes these major salvage operations with the minimum of technical jargon and in such a way that his problems of the moment become ony's own, and one can feel the triumph of success, the feats of seamanship, and the delicate manreuvres being achieved as if at one's own command. [ps]
THE SEA OUR SHIELD
|THE TIP OF THE SPEAR
Subtitle: The Midget Submarines
Published by: Richard Netherwood Lts, Huddersfield, UK in 1993.
Blue hard back with dustjacket; 232 printed pages.
Dimensions: 22.5 cms tall by 14.5 cms wide.
Pamela Mitchell’s (nee Broadbent) father was a director at the family engineering firm of “Thomas Broadbent ? Sons” in Huddersfield. During WW 2 the firm was selected by the Admiralty to start manufacturing midget submarines, otherwise known as “X Craft”. The midget subs were also built at “Marshall’s in Gainsborough in Lincolnshire and Markham’s in Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Pamela’s book contains first hand accounts of “X Craft” not only from the 5 men crews that operated them but also the people who made them at the three factories. An interesting combination of stories and accounts from everyone who was interviewed. It is divided into 26 chapters from the beginnings to sea trials to operations. Extremely well illustrated with so many contemporary photographs and diagrams. Pamela Mitchell later wrote “Chariots of the Sea” in 1998 about the Charioteers. [pt]
|THE TORPEDOMEN - HMS Vernon's Story
Privately Printed Wilton, 1993. .
Hardcover, dustjacket, 8vo. Sold with two separately printed errata slips loosely inserted, together with the original subscriber's letter confirming that 500 copies were printed.
The first dedicated history of the Royal Navy's torpedo, mine and diving school, compiled by a well-known torpedo and anti-submarine specialist at the request of the late Stephen Roskill. After ten years' research, and assisted by a committee of dedicated torpedomen, he produced a detailed and absorbing account of their alma mater. Includes roll of names on the 'Wheel' (torpedo long courses), list of captains and extensive bibliography.
|TOO DEEP TOO LATE
[Frogmen of World War II]
Manor Books Inc. / Hawk Editions., New York, NY, USA., 1978. Soft Cover. (ISBN:0532125789 / 0-532-12578-9)
Painted Cover Art! (illustrator). PBO (Paperback Original) 12mo - over 6?" - 7?" tall. 221 pages.
"Each dive was like a journey into death. Encased in a rubber suit, loaded with diving gear and weapons, carrying high explosives, the frogman was a messenger of destruction to the German warships. And as he hunted for them, they hunted for him. He could die from mines, or form hand grenades dropped from the ships he hunted, or from the accidental explosion of the tricky mines he carried. Most dangerous of all, he could find himself trapped in a desperate underwater duel, with the sharks waiting to carry off the losers."
Sales blurb indicates as very rare.
|UNDER SEA HEROES
Capt. Samuel Taylor Moore.
Illustrated by Raymond Lufkin. Published by McLoughlin Brothers Inc, 1932. (Presume in USA).
Hardcover, 234 pages.
Excerpt from the foreward: "In this collection of short stories is presented thrilling episodes in the desperate struggle to beat the unscrupulous U-Boats in the World War. Also you will find modern stories of our under-sea Navy at home. You will learn in these chapters of the daily dangers of submarine sailors in peace: you will find them trapped on the bottom, facing death from deadly chlorine gas, which generates in the storage batteries, making the iron hull a lethal chamber; you will know of other dangers such as internal explosions, of cold, and the cruelty of King Neptune in anger at men who would sail into his depths. You will come to know how heroism may exist in peace, as well as war."
The amazing exploits of the famous Special Agent.
|UNDERWATER WARFARE IN THE AGE
Indiana University Press, Bloomington and London, 1978.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 236 pages, index, bibliography, extensive notes. a few drawings.
From the fly: In the age of sail, ideas on underwater warfare and on devices for its implementation passed in a continuous chain of development from one inventor to another to reach fruition and final, if reluctant, acceptance as the age of steam was dawning. This book examines the process by which those ideas and inventions spread, from Italy in the sixteenth century to both sides of the English Channel in the seventeenth century, and thence to northern Europe, America, and Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The technology of underwater warfare was disseminated at first through the travel, correspondence, and books of Europe's learned men. Later, discussions shifted to the meetings and journals of academic and scientific societies, and finally into popular magazines. Reactions to these innovations revealed a deep-seated conflict in the attitudes of Western man toward the conduct of war: a chivalrous abhorrence of the treacherous, the undefensible, and yet a reluctant acceptance of the expediency of weapons that might end war or shorten wars.
Military historians will find here a new perspective on the ship-to-ship, broadside engagements and ritualistic fleet maneuvers that characterized naval warfare in the age of sail—the new perspective of the iconoclasts who tried to undermine the ships and the whole naval system as well, The book examines how and why these new weapons were invented, what attempts were made to have them officially adopted, and why military officers at first rejected, then finally accepted, these devices. The question of military necessity is explored in the light of an evolving international law and a continuing aversion to surreptitious weapons, which were considered unfair, and exploding weapons, which were still associated with the devil. Historians of science and technology will be refreshed by Roland's discussion of the development of (hese inventions: one that sheds light on the difference between invention and innovation and the changing relationship between magic, natural philosophy, science, and technology, and examines the moral dilemma of inventors and scientists in the service of war. This remarkable study in the history of ideas will be of absorbing interest to scholars and students of intellectual history, the history of science and technology, and military history. [ps]
First published 1996 by Arms ? Armour Press, an imprint of Cassell, London.
Published by Brockhampton Press, a member of the Hodder Headline Group, in 1999. Image is of 1999 edition. [ps]
Hardcover, with laminated pictorial boards, dustjacket, mono prints, 256 pages, index, bibliography.
From the fly: Of all types of battle zone movement the most difficult to detect has been that of submerged craft; it is not sur- prising that this mode of clandestine activity is centuries old and was first used offensively over 200 years ago. With the Italians, Japanese, British and German navies all active in the use of one- and two-man sub- marines it is not surprising to find them employed in a multitude of daring and dramatic sorties against seaborne, harbour and land-based targets. In this thorough study of the topic - the most comprehensive ever attempted in the English language - Paul Kemp provides ample evidence of the diverse tasks undertaken by the underwater warriors. The reader is supplied with sufficient technical data to understand the mechanics of this element of naval warfare before being taken on the myriad subversive actions performea by these fascinat- ing craft. For students of naval history and military intelligence work this sub- stantial account of midget submarines and their crews will prove a major contribution to an intriguing yet under-published topic. [ps]
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