The name HMS Warspite has long been a part of British naval tradition. The first ship to bear this name sailed under command of Sir Walter Raleigh in 1596. The eighth and last Warspite was the nuclear submarine, which started her career stalking Soviet Navy vessels during the Cold War and later patrolled the waters around the Falkland Islands and the Argentinian coast following the war in 1982.
While covering the careers of all the ships to carry this proud name, this book concentrates on the seventh Warspite. This mighty battleship fought her way through both World Wars. She saw action in some of the greatest naval engagements of the 20th Century, including the battles of Jutland, 1916, and Calabria, Taranto and Matapan in the 1940s, before sailing for the Far East to join the struggle against the Japanese fleet.
Warspite’s guns also proved decisive in helping Allied armies liberate north-west Europe in 1944. Warspite was retired from service at the end of the Second World War and in 1947 was being towed to the breaker’s yard when, during a storm, she broke free from her tugs and ran aground in Prussia Cove, off the Cornish coast.
In this fascinating book, Iain Ballantyne tells the story of Warspite through the eyes of the men who sailed in her, some of whom are speaking of their experiences for the first time. The text is enhanced by a fine selection of photographs, many previously unpublished, and specially commissioned artwork.
Pen & Sword Maritime,
208 B/W images
‘Ballantyne excels in bringing to life some of these great events in our naval history through the eyes and feelings of the men who were there. This is narrative history at its most human, and it kept this reviewer, at times, on the edge of his seat. Though knowing the eventual outcome of the story, as the book progressed, I found myself really caring for the people who starred in it.’
Cdr Gerry Northwood, former CO of the destroyer HMS Liverpool, writing for Navy News
‘This is a very successful work, combining a clear narrative with a good use of some very atmospheric first-hand accounts (as well as a large collection of photographs).’
History of War