Securing the Narrow Sea, The Dover Patrol 1914-1918

With WWI centenaries coming thick and fast, there has been a deluge of books published to time with the events. Inevitably the terrible battles on the Western Front have dominated but here is a most welcome book on the Dover Patrol, a much under-covered part of WWI. The author has produced a very creditable review of this vital service, a must-read book that deserves to be highly commended.


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NAME: Securing the Narrow Sea, The Dover Patrol 1914-1918
FILE: R2465
AUTHOR: Steve R Dunn
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  288
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, First World War, The Great 
War, naval warfare, coastal warfare, narrow sea, Royal Navy, RN, small 
ships, destroyers, motor boats, armed trawlers, monitors
ISBN: 978-1-84832-249-3
IMAGE: B2465.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/zgurcbt
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: With WWI centenaries coming thick and fast, there has 
been a deluge of books published to time with the events. Inevitably 
the terrible battles on the Western Front have dominated but here is 
a most welcome book on the Dover Patrol, a much under-covered part of 
WWI.  The author has produced a very creditable review of this vital 
service, a must-read book that deserves to be highly commended. 

The Royal Navy had not been well-prepared for war in Europe during 
the Victorian period. After the final defeat of Napoleon, the road 
was open for a British dash for Empire and, apart from the Crimean 
War and a succession of relatively minor and confined conflicts in 
the distant parts of Empire, there was almost a century of peace for 
the British. Nelson's Navy became a largely ceremonial service, 
steaming out its gunboats to deter the smaller trouble makers and 
making a brave show in harbours around the world. However, 
politicians and senior commanders began to awake to the significant 
threat posed by German ambitions and a re-armament program got under 
way in the final years of the Nineteenth Century. Just building new 
warships in numbers was not in itself the complete answer. They 
needed to be assigned to ports that more accurately faced the German 
threat. The main Fleet Anchorage was to be in the Orkneys at Scapa 
Flow, where the warships could block German access from the Baltic 
and their North Sea ports. That still required a base for the smaller 
warships that would provide coastal protection and escorts for convoys, 
and an organization to control them. The result was the formation of 
the Dover Patrol.

The Dover Patrol was tasked with denying the Channel access to the 
German Navy from the North Sea and from the Atlantic. It was to see 
very hard fought battles with smaller warships on an almost continuous 
basis. It also saw the use of special small ships for shore bombardment 
in support of the BEF in France and Belgium, mounting a turret of large 
battleship guns on a relatively small and shallow draft vessel. There 
was an urgent need for mine sweepers and anti-submarine vessels and an 
opportunity to put the new fast motor boats to good use as gunboats and 
torpedo boats.

The author has provided a thrilling account of the vessels, their crews 
and the actions they fought. He has told of the airships and armed 
trawlers, the yachts and the other small private and merchant craft 
rapidly impressed into RN service, modified for war. Although much of 
the work of the Dover Patrol was to protect the many small coastal 
trading vessels in convoys, it was also part of some daring raids on 
enemy ports. Great stories, told well.