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.
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.