The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jul/Aug 2018

BOOK REVIEWS

Detailed, eye-opening addition to the story of naval mine warfare

'Home Waters - Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and US Navy Mine Forces Battling U-boats in World War I'

Authors Cdr David D Bruhn, USN (Retired) and Lt Cdr Rob Hoole RN (Retired) have combined their authoritative knowledge to produce this very detailed work. Home Waters is the first of a trilogy describing the outstanding efforts made during First World War to counter the almost overwhelming German mining threat.


The book is an eye-opener to the countless acts of gallantry and diversity of operations that took place.


Hundreds of fishing vessels from every port and harbour in Britain were pressed into minesweeping duties while minelayers sowed minefields to restrict and destroy German vessels. Their efforts allowed the powerful Royal Navy to hold the German Navy in port, except for the occasional skirmish, including the Battle of Jutland. American destroyers hunted U-boats in British waters, while minelayers created a barrier from the Orkney Islands across to Norway to try to deny the enemy access into the Atlantic.


Germany became increasingly desperate and mounted a U-boat offensive off North America to induce the US to bring her destroyers home. Nearly 100 vessels were sunk but the action failed. Germany surrendered and the allies were left with the deadly task of removing thousands of mines laid during the war.


Home Waters describes very many heroic operations undertaken by the British, Canadian and American navies together with the British fishing community throughout the war, with the aid of 150 black-and-white photographs, maps, diagrams and three appendices. It is fully referenced and has a detailed index of names, places and subjects.


Home Waters; Cdr David D Bruhn USN (Retd) and Lt Cdr Rob Hoole RN (Retd); available from www.vernon-monument.org.uk/shop, 2018; ISBN 978-0-7884-5798-2; paperback; 381 pages; £30.00 (£10 of this is donated to “Project Vernon”).

 

John Bevan

 

 

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