Sink the Belgrano

A History of the Royal Navy: World War II

Eminently readable and well paced, this covers the highs and lows of the RN in WWII. It has many deep historical insights including debunking the myth that it was solely the RAF that dettered the Germans from invading Britain in 1940.

The Royal Navy & the Falklands War

Royal Navy, The: A History Since 1900

 Written in an engaging and accessible style, this manges to cover a lengthy historical period while retaining enough detail on the RN’s development and many fighting actions to be interesting.

 

72 Hours

 

Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War

 As a Commando helicopter pilot, the author served with 846 Naval Air Squadron in the Falklands War and was decorated for gallantry (DSC). The author re-lives his part in operations, in particular Special Forces intelligence gathering and direct action missions, including the Pebble Island raid. Events are described in detail including the development of pioneering night operating procedures and the conduct of covert and other operationally sensitive missions. The book includes hitherto undisclosed material relating to Operation MIKADO, the ill-fated Special Forces mission in Argentina with its disastrous consequences for the Task Force. Dick was Captain of the Sea King that carried the Special Forces team into Argentina. The operation is described in detail including events in the air and on the ground in Argentina and Chile. Dick recalls his encounter with the Chilean authorities, meetings with British Embassy officials in Santiago, the international press conference, his eventful repatriation to the UK, debriefings in the MoD and time spent in an MI6 safe-house somewhere in England. The book concludes by describing a follow-up visit to Chile by the author in November 1982, at the behest of the Chilean Government.

 

The Silent Service

One of the great untold stories of the British services is that of the Royal Navy Submarine Service which entered the fray in World War I with 100 underwater craft. Through World War II, where submariners’ prospects of returning safely from a mission were only 50:50, the Falklands conflict and the sinking of the Belgrano, to present-day elite machines, the Silent Service has played an enormous part in British defence. John Parker’s in-depth investigation is very much personality led with diaries from the early part of the century to substantial first-person testimony from survivors of wartime heroics (when many VCs were won).