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'War is the most important thing in the world', writes Martin van Creveld, one of the world's best-known experts on military history and strategy. The survival of every country, government, and individual is ultimately dependent on war - or the ability to wage it in self-defence. That is why, though it may come but once in a hundred years, it must be prepared for every day. When it is too late-when the bodies lie stiff and people weep over them-those in charge have failed in their duty. Nevertheless, in spite of the centrality of war to human history and culture, there has for long been no modern attempt to provide a replacement for the classics on war and strategy, Sun Tzu's The Art of War, dating from the 5th or 6th century BC, and Carl von Clausewitz's On War, written in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. What is needed is a modern, comprehensive, easy to read and understand theory of war for the 21st century that could serve as a replacement for these classic texts. The purpose of the present book is to provide just such a theory.
Of all the threats faced by the Royal Navy during the first years of the twentieth century, the one which stood out was the risk to Britain's sea lines of communication posed by France's armoured cruisers. Fast, well-armed and well-protected, these ships could have evaded any attempted blockade of the French ports and, supported by a worldwide network of overseas bases, could potentially have caused havoc on the trade routes. Between 1898 and 1901 the French laid down thirteen ships, and completed nine in 1903-4 alone. This book has as its subject the French armoured cruisers built from the late 1880s until shortly before the outbreak of the Great War, beginning with the revolutionary Dupuy-de-L me, the world's first modern armoured cruiser, and ending with the impressive six-funnelled Edgar Quinet and Waldeck-Rousseau. The primary focus of the book is on the technical characteristics of the ships. Detailed and labelled drawings based on the official plans are provided by John Jordan, and each individual class of ship is illustrated by photographs from the extensive personal collection of Philippe Caresse. The technical section is followed by a history in two parts, covering the Great War (1914-18) and the postwar years, during which the surviving ships saw extensive deployment as station' cruisers overseas and as training ships. This is the most comprehensive account published in English or in French, and is destined be the standard reference for many years to come.
Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson KB (1758 - 1805) was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. Admired for his leadership, strategy and tactics, he led many decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. Known for his bold actions, and sometimes disobeying his seniors, Nelson was taken into the hearts of the British people. This slightly built, battle-scarred, often vain man, of dubious private life and few known accomplishments beyond his profession, became a legendary figure in British history. When Admiral Horatio Nelson died, people who had never seen him wept because they felt they had lost someone special and irreplaceable. How that came about, this book describes. Nelson helped to capture Corsica and saw the battle of Calvi (where he lost the sight in his right eye). He later lost his right arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1797. Nelson destroyed Napoleon's fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, and thus gained a direct trade route to India. Over the period 1794 to 1805, under Nelson's leadership, the Royal Navy proved its supremacy over the French. Nelson's most famous engagement, at Cape Trafalgar, saved Britain from threat of invasion by Napoleon, but it would be his last. Before the battle on 21 October 1805, Nelson sent out the famous signal to his fleet 'England expects that every man will do his duty'. Killed by a French sniper just a few hours later, while leading the attack on the combined French and Spanish fleet, Nelson's body was preserved in brandy and transported back to England where he was given a state funeral. He is buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London.
When war broke out between Great Britain and the United States in
1812, Sir George Prevost, captain general and governor in chief of
British North America, was responsible for defending a group of
North American colonies that stretched as far as the distance from
Paris to Moscow. He also commanded one of the largest British
overseas forces during the Napoleonic Wars. "Defender of Canada,"
the first book-length examination of Prevost's career, offers a
reinterpretation of the general's military leadership in the War of
1812. Historian John R. Grodzinski shows that Prevost deserves far
greater credit for the successful defense of Canada than he has
During the Cold War, nuclear submarines performed the greatest public service of all: prevention of a third world war. History shows that they succeeded; the Cold War ended peacefully, but for security reasons, only now can this story be told. Eric Thompson is a career nuclear submarine officer who served from the first days of the Polaris missile boats until after the end of the Cold War. He joined the Navy in the last days of Empire, made his first sorties in World War II type submarines and ended up as the top engineer in charge of the navy's nuclear power plants. Along the way, he helped develop all manner of kit, from guided torpedoes to the Trident ballistic missile system. In this vivid personal account of his submarine operations, he reveals what it was like to literally have your finger on the nuclear button. In his journey, the author leads the reader through top-secret submarine patrols, hush-hush scientific trials, underwater weapon developments, public relations battles with nuclear protesters, arm-wrestling with politicians and the changing roles of females and homosexuals in the Navy. It is essentially a human story, rich in both drama and comedy, like the Russian spy trawler that played dance music at passing submarines. There was never a dull moment. Behind the lighter moments was a deadly serious game. This, the inside story of Britain's nuclear deterrent, reveals the secretive life of submarines and the men who served on them; they kept their watch, and by maintaining the threat of 'Mutually Assured Destruction' helped keep Britain and the world safe.
On December 7, 1941, as the great battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah lay paralysed 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 were hurriedly flown to Oahu from the mainland. The divers had been given a Herculean task; to 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, in 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 memorising 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 West Virginia, Nevada, and California.
This is a must-buy for the Royal Navy and Submarine enthusiast, being a complete directory of RN submarines from the outset to the present day. There is a wealth of detail on each class. Every entry contains the specification, launch dates of individual boats, details of evolving construction and armament and other salient information in a compact form. The high quality of the drawings of the majority of classes adds to the value of this work which includes the very latest Astute submarines currently coming into service. This book is a complete directory of submarines and will be widely welcomed by all with an interest, professional or lay, in the subject.
Once revered as one of the finest officers in the U.S. Navy, Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont is now, when remembered at all, criticized for resisting technological advancement and for half-heartedly leading the disastrous all-ironclad Union naval attack on Charleston. Although his reputation appeared unshakable after he won the first major Union victory of the Civil War in South Carolina, the failed attack on Charleston brought his career to an abrupt end. Relieved of his command, he was also maligned in the press. In Lincoln's Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont, Kevin J. Weddle challenges this reduction of Du Pont's legacy, combining new and known sources to uncover a thoroughly modern, though flawed, Du Pont.
Despite the fact that Du Pont's name has become intertwined with the ironclad due to the catastrophic battle that brought shame on both the man and the machine, Weddle reveals that the admiral was the victim of a double irony: although Du Pont championed technological innovation, he outspokenly opposed the use of the new ironclads to attack Charleston. Only when his objections were overridden did his use of these modern vessels bring his career to a tragic end. Weddle exposes this historical misunderstanding, while also pinpointing Du Pont's crucial role in the development of United States naval strategy, his work in modernizing the navy between the Mexican War and the Civil War, and his push for the navy's technological transition from wood to iron.
In his examination of key documents from Du Pont's life and career, Weddle unveils the life-long partnership that Du Pont shared with his wife and confidante, Sophie, who served as an immediate counsel to many of his decisions, while also tackling larger historical questions such as civil-military relations, attitudes toward slavery, innovations in military strategy and organization, and the introduction of new military technology in wartime. Both enlightening and moving, Lincoln's Tragic Admiral will appeal to scholars interested in American, technological, and military history, as well as the general reader interested in the Civil War.
David Balme will be forever known as the 20-year-old hero who, on 9 May 1941, boarded a German U-boat in mid-Atlantic, and captured one of the greatest secrets of the Second World War. This capture - or 'pinch' as it was known within secret, inner circles - changed the course of the Battle of the Atlantic and shortened the war itself. Balme was part of a team comprising officers and men of the Third Escort Group ably led by Commander Joe Baker Cresswell, also commander of HMS Bulldog, who shared the danger with other unsung heroes such as Lieutenant Commander George Dodds. Balme was tasked with taking the Bulldog's whaler and a small party to board the U-boat U-110 which had been disabled. However he was alone when initially boarding, entering and searching the U-boat. This put him in a vulnerable position while descending into the vessel - he risked being shot by any German submariner that may have remained or blown-up by a booby-trap device. Furthermore he could have drowned when Bulldog disappeared into the mists of the Atlantic to hunt another U-boat, as U-110 could have plummeted into the depths at any time.However, where others tried and failed or tragically lost their lives, Balme and his boarding party succeeded magnificently in capturing an entire Enigma machine, the essential rotors and months' worth of associated cipher material. This was an absolute gift to the code breakers at Bletchley Park who were able to read all the secret German naval signal traffic for some months and it enabled them to read virtually the whole of the traffic for the rest of the war and with little delay. The capture was kept so secret that few even on the British side knew about it - not even the Americans were told what had been achieved after they entered the war. Balme returned from the war and never spoke about the secret capture which he believed would be hidden forever. The story of the capture and ransack of U-110 is told for the first time in the words and letters of David Balme, his captain Joe Baker Cresswell, George Dodds and others who took part in the most important submarine capture of the whole war.Besides the capture of U-110, Balme enjoyed an astonishing variety of wartime experience including the Spanish Civil War, the Palestine Patrol, the sinking of HMS Courageous, the Battle of Convoy KJF3, the fight with the heavy cruiser Hipper, the Battle of Cape Spartivento, the Battle of Convoy OB318, being sunk during Operation Harpoon, the air war in the Western Desert, the high level diplomacy of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and pioneering work as a Fighter Direction Officer in the war against Japan.
When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the United States and NATO were losing the Cold War. The USSR had superiority in conventional weapons and manpower in Europe, and had embarked on a construction programme to gain naval pre-eminence. But Reagan had a plan. Reagan pushed Congress to build the navy back to its 1945 strength. He gathered a circle of experienced naval planners, including the author, to devise an aggressive strategy. New radars, sensors and emissions technology would make ghosts of US submarines and surface fleets. They would operate aircraft carriers in Arctic waters which no navy had attempted. The Soviets, surrounded by their forward naval strategy, bankrupted their economy trying to keep pace. It wasn't long before the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR was disbanded.
Though he entered combat late in May 1942, Carl Emmermann sank twenty-six Allied ships in only four combat patrols while commanding U-172, becoming the thirteenth most successful U-boat commander of the war. U-172, a Type IXC U-boat, saw non-stop action throughout the Atlantic, during its four patrols under Emmermann. U-172's third patrol to Cape Town would be its longest with 131 days at sea, where it added eight vessels to its list of successes in this sector; the first sinkings in this area for the U-boat service. On its sixth patrol under a different commander, U-172 would later be sunk in December 1943. Awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves in 1944, Emmermann was ordered at St. Nazaire, France, to command the Kriegsmarine's 6th U-boat Flotilla. Later in Germany, he became the new sub-specialist for the Type XXIII U-boat, and in the last months of the war, commanded a marine battalion in defense of Hamburg. This biography details all WWII patrols by U-172 and features over 230 images and maps.
A gripping account of the epic hunt for Hitler's most terrifying battleship - the legendary Tirpitz - and the brave men who risked their lives to attack and destroy this most potent symbol of the Nazi's fearsome war machine. Tirpitz was the pride of Hitler's navy. To Churchill, she was 'the Beast', a menace to Britain's supply lines and a threat to the convoys sustaining Stalin's armies. Tirpitz was said to be unsinkable, impregnable -no other target attracted so much attention. In total 36 major Allied operations were launched against her, including desperately risky missions by human torpedoes and midget submarines and near-suicidal bombing raids. Yet Tirpitz stayed afloat. It was not until November 1944 that she was finally destroyed by RAF Lancaster Bombers flown by 617 Squadron - the Dambusters - in a gruelling mission that tested the very limits of human endurance. The man who led the raid - Willie Tait - was one of the most remarkable figures of the war, flying missions almost continuously right from the start. Until now his deeds have been virtually unknown. With exclusive co-operation from Tait's family, Patrick Bishop reveals the extraordinary achievement of a man who shunned the spotlight but whose name will be renowned for generations to come. The book is a magnificent, accessibly written wartime adventure, perfect for fans of Ben Macintyre's 'Agent Zigzag' or 'Operation Mincemeat'.
In General Naval Tactics, Naval War College professor and renowned tactical expert Milan Vego describes and explains those aspects of naval tactics most closely related to the human factor. Specifically, he explains in some detail the objectives and methods/elements of tactical employment of naval forces, command and control, combat support, tactical design, decision-making and planning/execution, leadership, doctrine, and training. Vego derives certain commonalities of naval tactics that occurred in recent and distant wars at sea. Many parts of his theoretical constructs are based on works of a number of well-known and influential naval theoreticians such as Admirals Alfred T. Mahan, Bradley A. Fiske, Raoul Castex, and Ren? (R) Daveluy and influential naval theoreticians. Whenever possible, the author illustrates each aspect of theory by carefully selected examples from naval history--making the theory more understandable and interesting. Vego aims to present theory that is general in nature and therefore, more durable in its validity. The more general the theory, the greater the possibility of accommodating changes based on new interpretations of past events and as a result of gaining fresh insight from the lessons learned.
During the Battle of Midway in June 1942, US Navy dive bomber pilot Wade McClusky proved himself to be one of the greatest pilots and combat leaders in American history, but his story has never been told - until now. It was Wade McClusky who remained calm when the Japanese fleet was not where it was expected to be. It was he who made the counterintuitive choice to then search to the north instead of to the south. It was also McClusky who took the calculated risk of continuing to search even though his bombers were low on fuel and may not have enough to make it back to the Enterprise. His ability to remain calm under enormous pressure played a huge role in the US Navy winning this decisive victory that turned the tide of war in the Pacific. This book is the story of exactly the right man being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Wade McClusky was that man and this is his story.
In August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to establish a new administration in his richest provinces. Run by English merchants who collected taxes using a ruthless private army, this new regime saw the East India Company transform itself from an international trading corporation into something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business.
William Dalrymple tells the remarkable story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power.
The battleships of the _Dunkerque_ and _Richelieu_ classes were the most radical and influential designs of the interwar period, and were coveted by the British, the Germans and the Italians following the Armistice of June 1940\. After an extensive refit in the USA, _Richelieu_ went on to serve alongside the Royal Navy during 1943-45. Using a wealth of primary-source material, some of which has only recently been made available, John Jordan and Robert Dumas have embarked on a completely new study of these important and technically interesting ships. A full account of their development is followed by a detailed analysis of their design characteristics, profusely illustrated by inboard profiles and schematic drawings. The technical chapters are interspersed with operational histories of the ships, with a particular focus on the operations in which they engaged other heavy units: Mers el-Kebir, Dakar and Casablanca. These accounts include a detailed analysis of their performance in action and the damage sustained, and are supported by specially-drawn maps and by the logs of _Strasbourg_ and _Richelieu_. Twenty-two colour profile and plan views illustrate the ships' appearance at the various stages of their careers.
The surrender of the German U-boat fleet at the end of World War II was perhaps the principal event in the war's endgame which signified to the British people that peace really had arrived. This revised, updated and expanded new edition gives career details of not only the 33 commanders who accompanied their boats to Loch Eriboll but also of a further 23 previous commanders of those U-boats, including four who might be considered 'Aces' because of the damage they inflicted, sinking and disabling Allied shipping. The book also features an analysis of the Allied naval operation under which the surrendering U-boats were assembled in Scotland and Northern Ireland; asks who first contacted those U-boats after the capitulation - armed British trawlers, frigates of the Allied navies or aircraft of the Royal Air Force; and discloses how U-boats spared destruction were distributed to the navies of the USA, France, USSR and the Royal Navy. Also revealed are more unpublished recollections of British and German naval personnel present at the Loch Eriboll surrenders and how 116 surviving U-boats came to be sunk in the waters of the Western Approaches in the winter of 1945/46.The Grey Wolves of Eriboll includes a wealth of historical insights including the German Surrender Document; detailed descriptions of the construction, service careers and circumstances of each surrendered U-boat; details of the frigates that supervised the surrenders, contemporary newspaper reports and descriptions of the naval Operations Pledge, Commonwealth, Cabal, Thankful and Deadlight, each of which involved Eriboll U-boats. The mysteries surrounding Hitler's yacht and the alleged 'Norwegian Royal Yacht' (which did not exist at the time) are also explored. The pivotal role played by Loch Eriboll in ending the U-boat menace is little-known and lesser celebrated - this book rights that wrong.
WINNER OF THE SALTIRE SOCIETY HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 Next morning at about 6 o'clock my mother wakened us to say there had been a shipwreck and bodies were being washed ashore. My father had gone with others to look for survivors ... I don't think any survivors came in at Port Ellen but bodies did. The loss of two British ships crammed with American soldiers bound for the trenches of the First World War brought the devastation of war directly to the shores of the Scottish island of Islay. The sinking of the troopship Tuscania by a German U-Boat on 5 February 1918 was the first major loss of US troops in in the war. Eight months after the people of Islay had buried more than 200 Tuscania dead, the armed merchant cruiser Otranto collided with another troopship during a terrible storm. Despite a valiant rescue attempt by HMS Mounsay, the Otranto drifted towards Islay, hit a reef, throwing 600 men into the water. Just 19 survived; the rest were drowned or crushed by the wreckage. Based on the harrowing personal recollection of survivors and rescuers, newspaper reports and original research, Les Wilson tells the story of these terrible events, painting a vivid picture which also pays tribute to the astonishing bravery of the islanders, who risked their lives pulling men from the sea, caring for survivors and burying the dead.
The ocean is humanity's largest battlefield. It is also our greatest graveyard. Resting in its depths lay the lost ships of war spanning the totality of human history. Many wrecks are nameless, others from more recent times are remembered, honored even, as are the battles they fought, like Actium, Trafalgar, Tsushima, Jutland, Pearl Harbor, and Midway. This book is a dramatic global tour of the vast underwater museum of lost warships. It is also an account of how underwater exploration has discovered them, resolving mysteries, adding to our understanding of the past, and providing intimate details of the life of war at sea. Arranged chronologically, the book begins with ancient times and the warships and battles of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, the Chinese, and progresses through three thousand years to the lost ships of the Cold War. In bringing this violent past to life, James Delgado's approach is informed by scholarship, but it is not academic. Through his insights as an explorer, archaeologist, and story teller, Delgado provides a unique and idiosyncratic history of naval warfare, the evolution of its strategy and technology, and it critical impact on the past. From fallen triremes and galleons to dreadnoughts, aircraft carriers, and nuclear submarines, this book vividly brings naval warfare to life.
NOW OUT IN CINEMAS, STARRING COLIN FIRTH, MATTHIAS SCHOENAERTS AND LEA S╔YDOUX
'It takes you through each nail-biting moment . . . heart-breaking, humane and, at times, all too vivid. I've rarely read such a gripping work of non-fiction' COLIN FIRTH
At 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 12 August 2000, two massive explosions roared through the shallow Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. The Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet and the largest attack submarine in the world, was hurtling towards the ocean floor.
In Kursk (originally published as A Time to Die), award-winning journalist Robert Moore vividly recreates this disaster minute by minute. Venturing into a covert world where the Cold War continues out of sight, Moore investigates the military and political background to the tragedy. But above all, he tells the nail-bitingly poignant human story of the families waiting ashore, of the desperate efforts of British, Norwegian and Russian rescuers, and of the Kursk sailors, trapped in the aft compartnemt, waiting for rescue, as a horrified world followed their battle to stay alive . . .
The battleship Yamato, of the Imperial Japanese Navy, wasthe most powerful warship of World War II and representedthe climax, as it were, of the Japanese warrior traditions of thesamurai - the ideals of honour, discipline, and self-sacrificethat had immemorially ennobled the Japanese nationalconsciousness. Stoically poised for battle in the spring of1945 - when even Japan's last desperate technique of arms,the kamikaze, was running short - Yamato arose as thelast magnificent arrow in the imperial quiver of EmperorHirohito.Here, Jan Morris not only tells the dramatic story of themagnificent ship itself - from secret wartime launch to futilesacrifice at Okinawa - but, more fundamentally, interprets theship as an allegorical figure of war itself, in its splendour andits squalor, its heroism and its waste. Drawing on rich navalhistory and rhapsodic metaphors from international musicand art, Battleship Yamato is a work of grand ironic elegy.
Recipient of the University of Michigan Outstanding Achievement Award in 1966 Recipient of the Distinguished Fiji Award 2016 from Phi Gamma Delta<.b> Member of the Order of the Quetzal Winner of the 2002 Ecotrust Award Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 1998 Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Montana 1970 1990 Jack Vaughn Peace Corps Fellows Scholarship from the University of Arizona Kill the Gringo is the wide-ranging, action-packed memoir of Jack Hood Vaughn, whose career in diplomacy, social advocacy and conservation spanned more than 25 jobs and 11 countries. A professional boxer during his college years, Jack joined the Marines in 1941, fighting in the battles of Guam and Okinawa during World War II. His rapport with people and facility with language led to a speedy rise in international development in Latin America and Africa where he drew the attention of Vice President Lyndon Johnson during his visit to Senegal in 1961. Three years later, President Johnson appointed Jack ambassador to Panama when violent anti-American riots there led to a severing of diplomatic ties. As the second director of the Peace Corps, Jack presided over the largest number of volunteers in the organization's history and the delicate handling of anti-Vietnam fervor among its ranks. After his foreign service career, Jack led the National Urban Coalition and Planned Parenthood during the turbulent late 60's and early 70's. A rural development job in Iran ended dramatically with the 1978 revolution, and Jack turned his focus to the environment, advising the Nature Conservancy and founding Conservation International in 1987. Told with Jacks' humor and humility, his stories reveal an astonishingly varied, lively and distinguished career that lasted 50 years and earned him the nickname Peasant Ambassador.
In late 1941, war was looming with Japan, and Britain's empire in southeast Asia was at risk. The British government decided to send Force Z, which included the state-of-the-art battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse, to bolster the naval defences of Singapore, and provide a mighty naval deterrent to Japanese aggression. These two powerful ships arrived in Singapore on 2 December - five days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But crucially, they lacked air cover. On 9 December Japanese scout planes detected Force Z's approach in the Gulf of Thailand. Unlike at Pearl Harbor, battleships at sea could manoeuvre, and their anti-aircraft defences were ready. But it did no good. The Japanese dive-bombers and torpedo-bombers were the most advanced in the world, and the battle was one-sided. Strategically, the loss of Force Z was a colossal disaster for the British, and one that effectively marked the end of its empire in the East. But even more importantly, the sinking marked the last time that battleships were considered to be the masters of the ocean. From that day on, air power rather than big guns would be the deciding factor in naval warfare.
In June 1941 the Ark Royal won one of Britain's most famous naval victories. The German destroyer, Bismarck, had been ravaging the British fleet in the Atlantic. Sailing through a ferocious storm the Ark Royal tracked the Bismarck. A dozen swordfish bombers took off from her deck and pounded shell after shell into the German battleship, sending her to the ocean floor. It was a signal victory that resonated around the world. Hitler, furious at the loss of the German fleet's flagship, demanded that the Ark Royal be destroyed at whatever cost. HMS Ark Royal is one of the Royal Navy's most iconic ships. When she was launched in 1938 she was one of the most sophisticated weapons at the disposal of British military command. The aircraft carrier was the latest, and soon to be one of the most feared, developments in naval warfare. In her first two years of operation the Ark Royal survived countless attacks, and was considered one of the luckiest ships in the Navy. But her air of invincibility was to prove wishful thinking. Within one month of sinking the Bismarck, the Ark Royal too was destroyed while sailing off the coast of Gibraltar. And there she has rested, one kilometre below the surface of the Mediterranean, until her wreck was discovered by Mike Rossiter in 2004. In gripping detail, and using the testimony of survivors of the sinking and men who lived, flew and fought on the Ark Royal, Mike Rossiter tells the remarkable story of the life and legend of this most iconic of ships. Also, and for the first time, he reveals the story of the quest to discover the wreck of this naval legend.
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