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.
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.