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Warship 2017 by John Jordan


The Bismarck Episode

Russell Grenfell - 1948
    British morale was low. The sinking of the Bismarck was a matter of life and death. But before the British could engage her, they had to find her. The British Admiralty received a report that two large German warships had been seen steaming northward through the Kattegat, between Denmark and Sweden. Six days later the shattered hulk of the Bismarck turned bottom up and disappeared beneath the waves a few hundred miles from Brest. In those six days an awe-inspiring drama played itself out. The history of this terrible chase is a story of ups and downs, hopes and anxieties, bitter disappointment and miraculous recovery — a marvellous picture of naval action. In addition the battle is illuminated by comments on strategy and tactics that every reader can appreciate. Praise for Russell Grenfell: "Captain Grenfell has both the background and literary ability to bring the whole dramatic story brilliantly alive" - San Francisco Chronicle "A remarkably lucid account" - Time Magazine "Thoroughly rewarding" - New York Times "Full of dramatic interest" - Times Literary Supplement Russell Grenfell (1892-1954) was promoted to Lieutenant a few years after he first went to sea. Having served on battleships, he was appointed to command destroyers. Prior to his retirement, he served as senior commander at the Royal Naval Staff College in Greenwich. Grenfell authored many naval books, including Main Fleet to Singapore, Nelson the Sailor and Unconditional Hatred.

Coronel and Falkland

Barrie Pitt - 1960
     Britain’s Naval supremacy is being challenged for the first time since Trafalgar. At large in South American waters within reach of the convoy routes across the Atlantic and the Pacific was Vice-Admiral Graf von Spee with the East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron of the Imperial German Navy, including the armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Graf von Spee’s belief that a cruiser squadron was of more strategic value than independent raiders seemed amply justified at Coronel on 1st November, when the powerful German unit inflicted a heavy defeat on four courageous but weaker British ships under Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock. Reaction in Britain was immediate and violent. The Royal Navy had been seen as invincible. Now, in the first major engagement in which battle had been offered since the days of Nelson, it had suffered a morale-shattering blow. Public bewilderment turned swiftly to anger: the Royal Navy thirsted for revenge. The Admiralty, in the persons of the First Lord, Mr. Winston Churchill, and the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, ordered the destruction of the East Asiatic Squadron; everything must be done to recapture command of the Southern Seas. A powerful force including the two battle-cruisers Invincible and Inflexible, was sent to the Falkland Islands, prepared for a long search and a battle of annihilation. The Battle of the Falkland Islands was fought on 8th December. The desperate gallantry of the Imperial German Navy challenged the vengeful pride of the Royal Navy in a struggle for control over the ocean trade-routes of the Southern Seas. Two of the major participants, Cradock and von Spee, died with their ships. Basing his text upon German and British records, Pitt has reconstructed the events of the two ‘missing periods’: the fatal hours during which Cradock decided to fling his puny force against von Spee’s squadron; and the days when von Spee was forced to risk his ships and men upon the information contained in an ill-considered telegram and an unfounded rumour. In Coronel and Falkland Barrie Pitt presents a vivid picture of these epic battles of the First World War. His description of the actions are precise and graphic, his judgement of the motives and decisions of those in command, scrupulous and detailed. Praise for Zeebrugge “Mr. Barrie Pitt has done a splendid job in pulling together all the details of this operation and presenting it in a lively way, with plenty of maps and diagrams.” — News Chronicle “A breathless and unforgettable narrative.” — Sphere “Mr. Pitt’s description of the desperate action on Zeebrugge Mole itself must be one of the most graphic accounts ever written in the annals of sea warfare. This in truth was a magnificent feat by the Royal Navy.” — Yorkshire Evening Post “A lively and detailed narrative, admirably illustrated, of a particularly gallant effort, which will serve to keep alive the fame of that band of heroes.” — Naval Review Praise for Special Boat Squadron ‘Barrie Pitt’s account of the exploits of these brave men in the Mediterranean is as much a thriller as a history book’ - The Daily Mail, Hull (less)

The Fleet That Had To Die

Richard Hough - 1958
    Routed in Manchuria, the Russians decided to strike back. In October 1904 their Baltic fleet, a haphazard armada of some fifty outdated and ill-equipped men-of-war, led by a burnt-out neurotic and manned by 10,000 reluctant and badly-trained sailors, set sail for the East. Their plan was to unite with the Pacific squadron, then trapped in Port Arthur, and crush the soldiers of Admiral Togo. The two fleets met at Tsushima on May 27, 1905. Most thought the Russians would have little trouble defeating Japanese naval forces. But what followed was perhaps the greatest naval victory of all time. As Admiral Rozhestvensky's fleet lumbered through the Straits of Tsushima towards Vladivostok on 27 May 1905, the Japanese, in one of the most crushing naval victories of all time, utterly destroyed the Russian armada. Richard Hough recounts the fleet's extraordinary seven-month journey from the Baltic to the Far East in this gripping naval history. "Hough is a good storyteller with a refreshing, breezy style." The Wall Street Journal Richard Hough, the distinguished naval historian and winner of the Daily Express Best Book of the Sea Award (1972) was the author of many acclaimed books in the field including ‘Admirals in Collision’, ‘The Great War at Sea: 1914-18’, and ‘The Longest Battle: The War at Sea 1939-45’. He was also the biographer of Mountbatten, and his last biography, ‘Captain James Cook’, became a world bestseller. Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom

Iain Ballantyne - 2016
    After a bloody chase lasting more than 1,700 miles, Britain’s Home Fleet is finally closing in on the world’s most powerful battleship. There will be a fight to the finish, between more than 5,000 men of the Royal Navy and 2,600 servicemen of Hitler’s Kriegsmarine. Thousands will die... Published here for the first time, alongside a compelling narrative of the final 24 hours of the mission to sink the Nazi ship, are eyewitness accounts of Royal Navy sailors who saw the combat up close. Seventy-five years on from the epic mission to destroy the flagship of Hitler’s navy, these testimonies are the product of a unique project by Iain Ballantyne. Over a period of several years he interviewed a select group of surviving veterans in the UK and one in Canada, with transcripts of those remarkable on-camera interviews forming the basis of the exciting first-person stories that unfold here. It all combines to provide fresh insight into one of World War Two’s most dramatic events. Awards In 2007, Iain's work in the maritime arena was saluted with a Special Recognition Award from the British Maritime Charitable Foundation (BMCF), for making 'a consistent and unwavering contribution to raising maritime awareness over the years'. "Highly recommended for anyone interested on WW2 naval history." - Manchester Military History Society "This short book is a fascinating, quick read." - Terri, NetGalley Reviewer

Sacrifice on the Somme

Stuart Minor - 2016
    The battle of the Somme is a month old and both sides are locked in a death struggle as the British Army presses forward, battering against the strong German defences in a vicious battle of attrition. Through that murderous summer the world awaits the outcome of the desperate fight, the fate of empires hanging in the balance and resting on the courage of the ordinary men asked to fight. Harry and his battalion are pushed into the battle, the young soldiers forced to face the true horror of war and the reality of industrialised death. Despite the carnage Harry and his friends struggle on, their loyalty to each other unbroken as they strive together against the enemy.

Ella's War

Sarah Bourne - 2021
    Ella Elkington wakes up in hospital with minor physical injuries but no memory. She cannot even remember her own name.The doctor treating her tells her that she had a car accident and has been identified by a letter found in a handbag. Asking to see the letter, hoping to find out about herself, she learns the letter is now missing.When the hospital tracks down her brother, he visits her, and Ella has glimmers of childhood memories. After she is released from hospital, with the help of diaries and letters, and her long-time friend Sheila, Ella begins to piece together her past. She learns she was a nurse during the war, who was sent to work in a mobile hospital in France after the D-Day landings. But, haunted by nightmares, Ella struggles to understand how she ended up in the accident—as well as what happened to that letter and the man in her dreams.In order to understand who she is, Ella must face a terrible truth in order to make peace with the past and find a way to live again . . . Ella’s War is a captivating historical drama that will appeal to fans of authors like Lucinda Riley and Victoria Hislop.

ASSIGNMENT: PEENEMUNDE: A WWII Novel of Naval Intelligence and Spies (Tony Romella USN WWII Series Book 5)

Peter J. Azzole - 2020

Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941

David C. Evans - 1997
    This landmark study chronicles the Imperial Navy's instrumental role in Japan's rise from an isolationist feudal kingdom to a potent military empire.

Escort: The Battle of the Atlantic

D.A. Rayner - 1955
     This highly acclaimed firsthand account of convoy escort operations in the North Atlantic from 1939 to 1945 is based on Rayner's astonishing war record. About the author: Denys Arthur Rayner was a Royal Navy officer who fought throughout the Battle of the Atlantic. After intensive war service at sea, Rayner became a writer, a farmer, and a successful designer and builder of small sailing craft.

U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima

Raymond Henri - 2020
    Marines of this tiny yet strategically important volcanic island. The book is based on each author's own observations while on the island, plus the experiences of dozens of men involved in various aspects of the intense fighting. Presented in chronological order, the battle unfolds from the initial D-Day air force bombings and naval barrage, to the amphibious assault, to the slow gains made each day as the Marines inched forward under heavy fire. Despite its small size, Iwo Jima was considered the most heavily fortified island in the world, supporting thousands of nearly bomb-proof shelters and caves, hundreds of reinforced machine-gun, mortar, tank, and artillery positions, and more than 20,000 fanatical Japanese defenders. Included is a roster of Marines killed or missing in the battle, plus 12 maps and 32 pages of photographs.

A Home from Home

Rosie Hendry - 2018
    She and her friend Gracie are doing their bit to support the war effort. But times are changing at Catchetts - there's an evacuee and two P.O.Ws on their way... And then Phylly meets an American airman from the base up the road. As the War rages on the Continent, Phylly and Gracie's world will be changed forever.

Destroyer Squadron 23: Combat Exploits of Arleigh Burke's Gallant Force

Ken Jones - 1997
     Just over a month later they engaged five enemy destroyers and sunk three of them and received no damage themselves in what has been described by tacticians as “near perfect surface actions”. Over the course of the next four months Destroyer Squadron 23, which was nicknamed “The Little Beavers, would continue in the same vein and engage with enemy ships a further twenty-two times, destroying one Japanese cruiser, nine destroyers, one submarine, several smaller ships, and approximately 30 aircraft. “The Captains of Squadron 23 went out looking for trouble; they found it; they sank it; and then they looked for more. When a ship became lost, as some did, she simply headed for the enemy and continued to fight by herself. It is impossible for me to express the proud, paternal feeling I felt for you all during the heat of battle. There are many officers in the United States Navy who probably would have done as well had the opportunity been granted them. There are NO officers in the United States Navy who could have done better.” — Captain Arleigh Burke Ken Jones’ account of this brilliant squadron takes the reader to the heart of the action as he uncovers Arleigh’s tactics and the strategies that were deployed to defeat Japanese ships. He also uncovers what life was like for the men in the squadron as they powered across Pacific Ocean. “While the period covered by this book is relatively short, it was a crucial period in the Pacific War, and the vital part played by Destroyer Squadron 23 under the inspiring leadership of Arleigh Burke was, in a sense, only a beginning, but the vital beginning, of a steady drive forward which gained momentum and power until United States naval forces steamed victoriously into Tokyo Bay.” — Fleet Admiral William Halsey Ken Jones wrote a number of works on World War Two, including the biography Admiral Arleigh. His book Destroyer Squadron 23 was first published in 1959.


Peter H. Liddle - 2004
    Harrowing and heroic, the events of D-Day were recorded in the personal writings of those who were there. Here, Francis Crosby has compiled a comprehensive collection of previously unpublished letters, diaries, photographs, and reminiscences that tell the story of D-Day as it has never been told before.With the use of new international archives, Crosby has culled vivid and detailed eye-witness accounts from each beach, as well as perspectives from land, sea, and air. This fascinating collection includes entries from American, British, and Canadian troops, the Merchant Navy and the Royal Air Force, and newly available German materials. Also included are contemporary and retrospective reactions of women "in the know" and those whom knew from "unofficial sources" of the immediate imminence of the assault.

Stand By for Action: The Memoirs of a Small Ship Commander in World War II

William Donald - 2009
    'I don't want to appear fussy, but are we going to be greeted by cheers and kisses from Norwegian blondes, or a hail of gunfire from invisible Huns?' he remarked to his officers on approaching the small town of Andalsnes. returncharacterreturncharacterHis next task - in command first of a corvette and then a destroyer - was escorting East Coast convoys, and his experiences reflect the danger of this work against the menaces of E-boats, enemy aircraft and mines. He then took part in the landings at Anzio and the Normandy landings in 1944; finally, he rescued internees from the Japanese prison camp on Stanley, Hong Kong. His career was much helped by his highly developed sixth sense for danger, the deep affection of his crews and his affinity with cats which he believed brought him luck. returncharacterreturncharacterThis record of varied and almost incessant action ranks among the most thrilling personal stories of the war at sea.

The Navy’s Air War (Annotated): A Mission Completed

Albert R. Buchanan - 2019
    Author and historian Albert Buchanan recreates the engagements of the Pacific and Atlantic combat theaters with near clinical detail, from the Pearl Harbor Attack to the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Interwoven within these aerial combat narratives is background information on technological innovations, production methods, training programs, and the important players involved. This new edition of The Navy's Air War: A Mission Completed includes annotations and photographs from World War 2. *Annotations. *Images.