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Midget Submarines of the Second World War (Chatham Pictorial Histories) Hardcover – October 1, 1999
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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For many years I have studied the story of the Olterra and the Italian attacks on British shipping in Gibraltar and the story of the X-Craft attacks on the Tirpitz. Whilst I am, therefore, reasonably knowledgeable about European operations of midget submarines and similar devices, I was not previously fully informed about such operations further afield. This book, however, goes a long way to filling those gaps.
By closely studying all photographs which cross my desk, I am able to recognise those I have seen before (even if I can't remember where or when!) and I make two points; Firstly such is this author's depth of research that he has produced another 93 images in this book with very few I have seen previously and secondly, very few of the photos from `Underwater Warriors' are repeated here. I wish all photograph collections were as varied and informative.
Those photographs which are well known are repeated because of their importance and I particularly enjoy seeing that image of authors Tom Waldron and James Gleeson walking in London with Buster Crabbe and no fewer than four holders of the VC relevant to this work.
This is a coffee table book - slightly wider than A4 (portrait format) with 125 pages. There are four main chapters headed; Human Torpedoes, Submersibles, Midget Submarines and The Post-War World. Within the first three are further subdivisions which cover every aspect of the subject under discussion. In addition to the 95 photos there are also line drawing profiles of each type of craft and a fascinating set of four of these showing an Italian B class submarines underwater using caterpillar tracks to drive over submarine netting in a similar manner to tanks driving over obstacles during WW1.
Inside the back is a sleeve containing a large poster-size pullout line drawing of the type of X-Craft which took part in the attack on the Tirpitz.
Altogether, a thorough work and probably the best introduction to the subject anyone is likely to find.