The WWII Battle of the Atlantic has received much more coverage than the WWI Battle of the Atlantic. This new book gives a comprehensive coverage to the subject of the WWI anti-submarine warfare with fresh insight – Strongly Recommended.
NAME: Bayly's War, The Battle for the Western Approaches in the First World War FILE: R2664 AUTHOR: Steve R Dunn PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth Publishing BINDING: hard back PAGES: 304 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, First World War, World War 1, naval warfare, submarines, U-Boats, naval blockade, anti-submarine warfare, convoy escort, unrestricted submarine warfare, IRA, espionage, Ireland ISBN: 978-1-52670-123-7 IMAGE: B2664.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ydbeyw44 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The WWII Battle of the Atlantic has received much more coverage than the WWI Battle of the Atlantic. This new book gives a comprehensive coverage to the subject of the WWI anti- submarine warfare with fresh insight – Strongly Recommended. WWI was to see the first widespread use of submarines to attempt a blockage of the British Isles, and the increasingly successful anti- submarine warfare operated out of Queenstown on the Southern Irish coast. The British commander, Vice Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly was to pioneer tactics with a motley selection of vessels and set the tactics that were required again in 1939. In 1914, the submarine and the warplane were two very young weapons that had never been used in any real conflict before. As a result, both sides were pioneering new forms of warfare that had no precedent. The submarine was not yet a robust weapons system and even in WWII, the U-Boat was still really a submersible torpedo boat armed with guns and torpedoes that spent much of its time on the surface. The accepted rules of war still called on a submarine skipper to surface and challenge a target before opening fire. That placed the submarine at a disadvantage and meant that many U-Boat victories in the early years were achieved by gunfire rather than torpedo. Naturally, submarine commanders on all sides pressed for permission to attack targets covertly while submerged. That passed the advantage to the submarine, but at considerable cost, forming a key part of the justification for the US to enter the war on the side of the British and French. There was not much difference between the U-Boats of WWI and their successors through much of WWII. They were fewer in numbers and lacked some of the WWII innovations of the snorkel, the radar detector, and the equipment of some larger U-Boats with an autogiro glider to spot for targets, but generally the real submarines only started to enter German service in the closing months of WWII when the war was already lost. Generally, the U-Boats operated in the Western Approaches, relatively close to the British coast where they could lie in wait for ships leaving British waters, or arriving from Empire and North American ports. That meant that the Germans often had difficulty in identifying exactly what their targets were and meant that neutral flagged ships were as likely to be attacked as ships of the Allies. Deciding what was a passenger or hospital ship that should be avoided, and what was a vessel carrying war materials and supplies was not easy. As some targets had been marked by Irish insurgents there was also potential for a ship to be attacked because the IRA had been less than competent in their intelligence gathering. The British not only had to fight the U-Boats, but also operate in a community that was demanding home rule and happy to collaborate with the Germans. They also asked Germany for arms so that part of the Royal Navy resources had to be expended in patrolling Irish coasts to prevent German gun runners landing weapons for the IRA. Admiral Bayly set up his headquarters in Queenstown and began collecting vessels from any source open to him to augment the small number of warships allocated to him. This saw trawlers, tugs and yachts joining the force. Armament was improvised and new tactics developed from experience. His achievement under these circumstances was all the more remarkable and one of his innovations was the Q-Ship, which looked like a harmless merchant vessel but was packed with timber to keep it afloat if attacked and mounting hidden weapons, serving as a decoy that a submarine skipper might consider a soft target for a surface action and suffering for his mistake. The author has told the story well and included a review of the US Navy vessels that operated alongside the RN in the later stages of the war. Illustration is confined to a single photo plate section with some very interesting images, together with a chart of the Western Approaches.