72 Hours

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5 August 2005. On a secret mission to an underwater military installation 30 miles off the coast of Kamchatka, Russian Navy submersible AS-28 ran into a web of cables and stuck fast. With 600 feet of freezing water above them, there was no escape for the seven crew. Trapped in a titanium tomb, all they could do was wait as their air supply slowly dwindled. For more than 24 hours the Russian Navy tried to reach them. Finally – still haunted by the loss of the nuclear submarine Kursk five years before – they requested international assistance. On the other side of the world Commander Ian Riches, leader of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Rescue Service, got the call: there was a sub down. With the expertise and specialist equipment available to him Riches knew his team had a chance to save the men, but Kamchatka was at the very limit of their range and time was running out. As the Royal Navy prepared to deploy to Russia’s Pacific coast aboard a giant Royal Air Force C-17 airlifter, rescue teams from the United States and Japan also scrambled to reach the area. On board AS-28 the Russian crew shut down all non-essential systems, climbed into thick thermal suits to keep the bone-chilling damp at bay and waited, desperate to eke out the stale, thin air inside the pressure hull of their craft. But as the first of them began to drift in and out of consciousness, they knew the end was close. They started writing their farewells. 72 HOURS tells the extraordinary, edge-of-the-seat and real-life story of one of the most dramatic rescue missions of recent years.
£8.99 GBP
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Special Forces Pilot: A Flying Memoir of the Falkland War

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£12.99 GBP
£11.34 GBP
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 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

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£8.99 GBP
£8.99 GBP
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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).

My Bloody Efforts: Life as a Rating in the Modern Royal Navy

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In May 2000 the British nuclear ‘hunter-killer’ submarine HMS Tireless limped into Gibraltar using emergency propulsion and with her nuclear reactor shut down. Days earlier, while traversing the Straits of Sicily the crew had discovered a crack in one of the nuclear reactor pipes, requiring the immediate shutting down of the reactor to prevent a potential reactor accident, an operation never before conducted on a British submarine at sea. Th e previous six days had been a difficult time for the crew of the submarine. Initial indications of a nuclear reactor defect had quickly escalated into a full scale potential nuclear reactor accident at sea, requiring decisive action by the crew to make the reactor safe, to identify the defect and attempt to repair the reactor, and then to surface the submarine and to sail her safely back to the nearest safe harbor using emergency propulsion machinery designed for very limited use. The resulting lack of electrical power resulted in the crew having to sacrifice lighting, air-conditioning, bathing facilities and even hot food until their return to harbor, and to suffer in the excessively hot interior of the boat. Throughout, there remained the fear of exposure to deadly radiation and the uncertainty that the reactor might still be one step away from a major accident. For one man onboard, this episode formed the culmination of a 25 year naval engineering career almost fated for this moment. Charge Chief Stephen Bridgman, the senior nuclear propulsion technician, had needed all of his engineering knowledge and experience in the identification and eventual repair of the submarine reactor, subsequently being awarded an MBE together with a colleague for his services to naval engineering for his actions. This book provides an insight into a remarkable naval career starting as a 16 year old Stoker on the final ‘proper’ British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal in 1977, through the Falklands War, being selected for naval technician training
£22.95 GBP
£22.95 GBP
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Totally Steaming: A year on HMS Fearless [Kindle Only]

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About the Book.
This book was written at sea, on HMS Fearless, during evenings sat down in front of the technical office computer, as the ship gently swayed around me. It was almost written as it happened. Once each event had occurred, the requisite chunk was written and sent on to the close-in-range weapons workshop where Terry captured the mood of each occasion deftly with his pen and ink illustrations. It tells of the events during one year near the latter end of the life of the Fearless; one of the Royal Navy’s most unique ships, both in history and construction –not to mention the human and mechanical idiosyncrasies that seemed to be in manifest abundance within its metal hull.
The Fearless was a left-over from a previous generation of ships; the last steam powered vessel in the Royal Navy, and as such, its crew were also a left over; many had been coming back to it time and again from as far back as the ‘seventies. This meant that it was also ‘Old Navy’ in the outlooks and attitudes of the ship’s company.
The story is told from the point of view of the lower deck, to be precise from that of NCOs, and attempts to capture the tone and humour and attitudes of that now-vanished microcosm of Navy Life. For that reason it is unapologetically ‘politically incorrect’, and is not in any way a reflection of the Navy as it is now. Moreover, the opinions expressed within are those of the author and the people he knew and in no way reflect the policy of either the Royal Navy or the MOD.
£2.95 GBP
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
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HMS Fearless

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£25.00 GBP
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The story of one of the RN’s most well-known post-war ships which saw service around the world from the 1960s through the Falklands conflict until retirement in 2002.

Sea Harrier: The Last British Fighter

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One of the few British designed aircraft of recent years to have seen military service. The book is published to coincide with the withdrawal of the last Sea Harrier in Spring 2005. Illustrated in colour throughout.
£17.99 GBP
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Stand By To Surface

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‘It is the mid 1960’s – the crew of HMS ORCA are off again. Scruffy and bearded; their lives on board the submarine are cramped, claustrophobic, damp, dirty and they smell continuously of diesel. Food and the odd movie are their only distractions. Yet they relish their “pirate image” and are intensely proud of being submariners. Their “routine” running period turns into an action packed adventure full of hairy incidents, fun, and the odd frolic. Setting sail from Portsmouth they jump in at the deep end, their adrenalin pumping, and the action starting from the off.’ HMS Alliance was my first submarine; today it sits on concrete blocks as the main attraction at the Submarine Museum in Gosport. It is currently undergoing a major multi-million pound refit. Readers ordering “Stand By to Surface” will be contributing towards the cost of that refurbishment.
£8.99 GBP
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Fictional account of life aboard an ‘O’ class submarine HMS Orca. Life aboard conventional submarines were cramped, claustrophobic, damp, dirty. Food and the odd movie are their only distractions. Yet they relish their “pirate image” and are intensely proud of being submariners. Their “routine” running period turns into an action packed adventure full of hairy incidents, fun, and the odd frolic. Setting sail from Portsmouth they jump in at the deep end, their adrenalin pumping, and the action starting from the off. Touching and rare portrait of the peacetime RN submarine service in the 1960-70s operating around the UK.

 

Frog Tales

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Rare Book
£16.99 GBP
£16.99 GBP
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Spanning forty years of dangerous diving operations around the world, interspersed with English Channel swimming and triathlons this is a look into the secretive world of a Royal Navy Clearance Diver. The humour is dark, the stories are both heart stopping and almost unbelievable but its all true. Mark Holroyd served for 24 years as a Clearance Diver in the Royal Navy and was decorated for bravery. His time in the navy involved deep experimental saturation diving based aboard HMS Challenger, above and below water anti-terrorism duties along with conventional bomb disposal in operations around the world.