A New Trilogy of Minewarfare History

Minewarfare History Trilogy signed front covers med.jpg

All proceeds from the sales of author-signed copies of this recently published trilogy go towards Project Vernon, the campaign to install a monument next spring at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, formerly the site of HMS VERNON. The monument will honour all those involved - past, present and future - in minewarfare, diving and EOD.

Project Vernon (Charity Commission Registered Number 1128677) is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers.

In WWI under a crippling naval blockade of its North Sea ports which ultimately resulted in the starvation of thousands of its citizens and as land warfare in Europe drags on, Germany endeavours to counter-blockade Britain via U-boat attacks on shipping and by mining waters round the British Isles. Hundreds of fishing vessels from every port and harbour in Britain are pressed into minesweeping duties and minelayers sow fields to restrict and destroy German vessels. Their efforts allow the powerful Royal Navy to hold the German Navy in port — except for occasional skirmishes, including the Battle of Jutland. American destroyers hunt U-boats in British waters, while minelayers create a barrier between the Orkney Islands and Norway, to try to deny the enemy entry into the Atlantic.​
Desperate, Germany mounts a U-boat offensive off North America in the summer 1918, to induce the U.S. to bring her destroyers home. Although nearly one hundred vessels are sunk, this action fails. Germany surrenders in late autumn 1918 and allied vessels are left with the deadly task of removing thousands of mines laid in the war. One hundred and fifty photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places and subjects add value to this work.​
As war with Japan was imminent, the British laid minefields off Hong Kong and Singapore; the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies; and the Australians off New Zealand and Australia, in an attempt to prevent enemy invasion. Ships hastily converted to this task were referred to as “night raiders.” Duty aboard a “floating ammunition dump” was hazardous enough; missions carried out under the cloak of darkness increased the odds of survival in enemy waters.​
As MacArthur, Halsey, and Spruance’s forces advanced toward Japan, minesweepers worked with “night raiders”—clearing waters off landing beaches, while minelayers strove to deny the enemy freedom of the sea. Australian seaplanes (“Black Cats”) flew long, perilous night-missions to mine Japanese harbors, and British submarines and planes joined in the attack on shipping. Late in the war, USAAF bombers ringed the Japanese home islands with thousands of mines.​
When hostilities ended, war-weary “sweep sailors” remained in Asian waters—ridding the sea of “shipkillers.” The little-known efforts of these valiant men are illuminated in this rare look into history. One hundred and forty-four photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places and subjects add value to this work.​
When Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, the Royal Navy needed minelayers to help keep enemy forces at bay and out of its home waters. Turning first to the Merchant Navy, it requisitioned a liner and two ferries for this use, and a dozen destroyers and submarines were also converted to carry mines. Later, six fast minelaying cruisers joined the force.​
When Italy entered the war on the Axis side in June 1940, the situation became dire. As U-boats continued to sink shipping in the North Sea and around the British Isles, the Italian Fleet and German and Italian Air Forces controlled the central Mediterranean. Royal Air Force Bomber and Coastal Command planes took up mining, as did old Swordfish bi-planes of the Fleet Air Arm.​
Joining in the fight were units of exiled navies, including the Dutch minelayer Willem van der Zaan, Free French submarine Rubis, and the Norwegian 52nd Motor Launch Flotilla. U.S. Navy mine forces supported the invasion of French North Africa in late 1942, subsequent landings in Italy, and the invasions of Normandy and southern France. The Canadian 31st Minesweeping Flotilla was at Normandy, and joined in later operations.​
Enemy Waters puts readers in the heart of the action. One hundred and forty-five photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places and subjects add value to this work.​
Full Trilogy (at a discount)
 

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