The Royal Navy at Dunkirk, Commanding Officers’ Reports of British Warships in Action During Operation Dynamo

This is original source material, in the form of Commanding Officers’ Reports, collected and presented by Martin Mace who has a long reputation for military history publishing and writing. The words convey so much more than just the facts, being personal briefings from those who commanded vessels during the evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk. – Very Highly recommended.


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NAME: The Royal Navy at Dunkirk, Commanding Officers' Reports of 
British Warships in Action During Operation Dynamo
FILE: R2626
AUTHOR: Presenter Martin Mace
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline
BINDING:hard back
PAGES:  428
PRICE: £35.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, 
Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk Evacuation, 1940, Battle of France, The 
Dunkirk Little Ships, Royal Navy, volunteers

ISBN: 1-47388-672-4

IMAGE: B2626.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ycchbb6a
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: This is original source material, in the form of 
Commanding Officers' Reports, collected and presented by Martin 
Mace who has a long reputation for military history publishing and 
writing. The words convey so much more than just the facts, being 
personal briefings from those who commanded vessels during the 
evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk.  – Very 
Highly recommended.

It has become fashionable to talk down many of the important 
actions of WWII with a 'liberal' and 'anti-war' slant. This books 
tells it as it was through the eyes of ships captains. They had a 
detailed view of the action of their own ship and some overview 
the main action. They comprised vessels as small as MTB 102 to the 
destroyers, cruisers and auxiliaries.

What stands out is the level of cool professionalism under extreme 
pressure. Admiral Wake-Walker had three destroyers sunk from under 
him before transferring his Flag to the tiny MTB 102 for the final 
stages of the evacuation. MTB 102 was commanded by (then Lt.) 
Chris Dreyer.

MTB 102 was built as a private venture, bought by the RN and the 
fastest vessel in the RN at the time. It became the prototype for 
hundreds of fast patrol boats (MTBs and MGBs) built during the war 
but her Italian engines meant she was transferred to the Army and 
renamed 'Vimmy', being used by King George VI and Eisenhower to 
review the assembled D-Day Fleet before it sailed. After the war 
it was sold off into private ownership, ending up at Brundal near 
Norwich, UK, where an attempt was made to convert her to a house 
boat, a fate common at the time for former Coastal Forces Vessels. 
Happily, a newly formed Sea Scout unit bought a mooring at Brundal 
and accepted MTB 102 as part of the plot. The fouder of the unit 
realized what MTB 102 was and started a program of restoration. 
The film “The Eagle Has Landed” required a British MTB for filming 
and paid to complete the restoration to sea-going capability. She 
was then operated for many years by the Scout Council taking groups 
of young people to sea each weekend through the Summer months. She 
was also used in filming for “Soldier of Orange”. Successive refits 
have keep her operating and she is now operated by a Trust and 
based at a Lake Lothing, Lowestoft, boat yard. Over the years she 
has proudly sailed to Dunkirk with surviving Dunkirk Little Ships 
for anniversary events.

Chris Dreyer retired from the RN as a Commander. He was the first 
XO for HMS Ark Royal IV but unfortunately was taken ill before the 
first Commission was completed.

He often said that he was aware that 'something' was going on at 
Dunkirk and thought he could help out. As with some other skippers 
he sailed across, having arranged for orders to send him there. The 
action was hectic. MTB 102 survived a German bomb (estimated as 
500 lb) exploding within three feet of her transom. The the high 
level of activity has resulted in some conflicting memories from 
her crew, including how the Admirals Flag was made and what from. 
The correct version is that the flag was a large white tea towel 
that one of the  crew painted a red cross on. In addition to 
serving as Flag Ship for the closing stages of Operation Dynamo, 
she took off a senior British Army officer, although there is some 
debate as to who that was. The official report from her skipper 
Chris Dreyer makes interesting reading.

A retreat can never be claimed as a victory, but Operation Dynamo 
was a triumph against the odds that saw a significant number of 
British and French troops evacuated under the Germans' noses in 
spite of the British being unable to achieve air superiority. This 
book provides a wealth of fascinating insights from those who 
commanded the warships involved.