This is the story of a Town Class cruiser that was sent to the Mediterranean after taking part in the Battle of Norway. Nicely illustrated study of one of the warships escorting Malta convoys, her fate and her recent discovery by divers – Highly Recommended.
NAME: The Watery Grave, The Life and Death of HMS Manchester FILE: R2517 AUTHOR: Richard Osbourne PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Frontline BINDING: hard back PAGES: 244 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, RAF, MTBs, MGBs, Malta Convoys, air attack, submarines, E-Boats, S-Boote. Wreck location, divers
IMAGE: B2517jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kgy5zy2 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This is the story of a Town Class cruiser that was sent to the Mediterranean after taking part in the Battle of Norway. Nicely illustrated study of one of the warships escorting Malta convoys, her fate and her recent discovery by divers - Highly Recommended. The story of the Siege of Malta is a military epic. This book follows the fortunes of one cruiser escorting the convoys that provided fuel, munitions, weapons and food to enable the people of Malta to hold out against impossible odds. It may be the story of HMS Manchester but it is also the story many other warships that escorted convoys running the gauntlet of continuous attack by aircraft, surface vessels and submarines. The cost was enormous but the prize, the survival of Malta, was priceless. Many of the warships available in the Mediterranean to the Royal Navy for convoy escort had recently come from the cold waters off Norway and in the North Atlantic. The problem that could not be solved was that convoys running East to Malta from Gibraltar were observed by Axis agents in Spanish territory. What ever efforts were made to hide the nature of Malta convoys, the enemy knew, as convoys were forming, or passing through the Straits, the dates and times of sailing, the number of ships making up the convoy and their types. As the convoys could only be heading for Malta, Tobruk, or Egypt the Axis forces could forecast with great accuracy the route to be taken and the speed of the convoy. That allowed them to pre-position submarines and surface vessels to intercept and attack. As the possible routes were all under the radius of Axis aircraft, a continual surveillance of the convoy was possible and waves of aircraft could take off to intercept with great accuracy. The only respire was gained during very bad weather. Against the known threats, the British ships had few options. As every attack was likely to include submarines, surface ships and aircraft, the warships were fully stretched, using all of the available armament. As the enemy was able to employ saturation attacks, ammunition supplies were a major concern for the warships, with no means of resupply until they made final port after the mission. For anti-aircraft guns it was also a major concern because barrels frequently over -heated, the bores wore rapidly and the vibration could shake feed trays from precise position, leading to jams that took time to clear and sometimes could not be cleared. To add to the challenges there was no rest for the crews and exhaustion was a constant threat. Just to make matters worse, some gun crews left out safety split pins from the retaining bars on anti-aircraft gun feed tables. This was to allow faster access to clear fouling but increased the chances of a feed part openng during action. The author has described HMS Manchester's part in two convoys to Malta, the damage she suffered and her final fate, the rescue of her crew under fire, and her discovery by divers to bring the story up to date. The text reads smoothly and the nicely executed photo-plate section shows Manchester as she was, her crew's rescuers and how she looks today on the seabed. An absorbing story that is also a tribute to all those who served on Malta convoys.