The Wartime Story of Maverick Submarine Commander Anthony Miers
Miers, as both a VC holder and a successful wartime RN submarine commander (HM Submarine TORBAY) is a name which crops up frequently in various lists and names of blocks around naval bases. However, to drill down further into his story is to find a controversial, ruthless and driven man who was determined to make his mark on the world, and who had the fortune of a war in which to prove himself. Opinions on him remain deeply divided to this day, something which was clearly the driving force behind Mr Izzard’s work.
Briefly, Anthony Miers, whose father fought and died with the Cameron Highlanders in the First World War, joined the RN during the inter-war years and sub-specialised in submarines. Izzard is pretty clear that Miers was a confident, aggressive and highly competitive character from the start of his naval career, no doubt at odds with any notion of fair play or playing the game for the game’s sake. Miers made up for his lack of academic prowess by dint of effort when on duty, and by channelling his huge energies into sporting victories for his submarine when off duty. From Izzard’s account, Miers viewed team sports not as a pleasant pastime or a means of career networking, but as a substitute for combat and a key element in developing his crew’s unit integrity.