Dunkirk movie

Dunkirk movie review. Great cinema, but is it great history?

Dunkirk is a fine drama, gripping and well paced. Tension is maintained throughout and Christopher Nolan has directed with an immaculate sense of action. An outstanding musical score by Hans Zimmer at times seems to howl like a diving Stuka or rasps like a machine gun, adding to the feeling of fear and foreboding. There are a few confusing jumps back and forward in time and an odd subplot about soldiers trapped in a fishing boat being used for target practice but overall, it deserves its 5-star reviews.

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SSN14 book review Submarine HMS Turbulent

SSN14 – Book Review

£23.99 (Hardback) £13.99 (Paperback)  £2.99 (Kindle)

Former Royal Navy submariner, Commander Ryan Ramsey recently self-published this unique book that tells the story of HMS Turbulent’s eventful last deployment in 2011. Commanding a highly capable, but ageing Trafalgar class submarine tested Ramsey’s management skills to the limit and the book is structured around the leadership principles he employed.

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The Silent Deep - Submarines Polaris

The Silent Deep – Book review

£20.40 (Hardback)  £12.99 (Kindle)

2015 saw the publication of the latest in a string of fascinating titles dealing with the Cold War history of the Royal Navy Submarine Service. Secrets of the Conqueror (2012), Hunter Killers (2013) and Cold War Command (2014) were essentially based on stories told by RN submariners. The Silent Deep, the Royal Navy Submarine Service since 1945 is a lengthy and more encompassing work that tells the political, operational and personal stories of the service from the end of WWII up to the present day.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth

Aircraft Carriers

Aircraft Carrier – Large flat-topped vessel that can carry aircraft and is the centrepiece of a navy task group. With the decommissioning of HMS Illustrious, the RN has no aircraft carriers (only HMS Ocean a helicopter assault ship) until HMS Queen Elizabeth is operational.

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HMS Daring


Destroyer – Traditionally larger than frigates and usually more associated with air defence, the RN now has just 6 modern Type 45 destroyers.

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Type 26 Frigate


Frigates – Small to medium-sized surface escort ships (approx 4,000 tons) and general ‘workhorses’ of the fleet. Used to be primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare but are increasingly used in general purpose roles. The RN now has just 13 Type 23 frigates. 

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HMS Bulwark

Assault Ships

Assault ships provide an ‘amphibious’ capability – the landing of troops and equipment from sea via helicopters or by landing craft onto the shore. 

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HMS Brocklesby, Minehunter

Mine Warfare Vessels

Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMV) – combine mine hunting with mine disposal using sophisticated sonar, divers and remotely operated submersibles.

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HMS Protector

Patrol Ships

The RN has a handful of lightly-armed patrol vessels for specialist tasks.

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HMS Echo

Hydrographic Survey Ships

The RN has 3 ships that conduct hydrographic surveys of the ocean, the seabed and coastal features. The data they collect is used to produce the Admiralty charts issued by the UK Hydrographic office which are sold to mariners worldwide. 

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