British Invasion Fleets: The Mediterranean And Beyond 1942-1945

In his foreword, Captain Christopher Page, Head of the Naval Historical Branch of the Ministry of Defence, describes this new book as filling a glaring gap to supplement the author’s well-received previous books, including “The D-Day Ships”. That work commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1944 Normandy invasion: publication of this latest book coincides with the 60th anniversary of one of the other massive Allied invasions of the Second World War – that of North Africa in 1942. The book is designed to highlight the British contribution to the assault and follow-up phases not only of that operation but also nine other amphibious invasions, starting with three in Madagascar in the months prior to North Africa. After detailing the armada of ships assembled for the Eastern and Centre Task Forces in the North Africa landings, it goes on to concentrate on the vast Eastern Task Force fleet, which, in July 1943, headed towards Sicily from the UK, The Middle East, Tunisia and Malta. Immediately following the conquest of that Italian island came the September landings on mainland Italy at Salerno and, in January 1944, further north at Anzio. The British shipping involvment in both of these is covered in detail. The book continues with the British ships assigned to the invasion in the South of France in August 1944 before it switches its attention to the war against the Japanese in the Far East. Details are given of the ships and craft involved in the May 1945 operation to capture Rangoon and in the invasion of Malaya, for which a huge invasion fleet was assembled, much of which was still despatched in September of that year, despite the Japanese surrender. Each operation is briefly described as a prelude to comprehensive entries covering the British controlled (serving and former) merchant ships. Their sailing ports, convoys, beachhead destinations and, of course, damage, loss or other significant events are given, as well as, where available the number of troops or type of supplies and equipment carried. Full listings are included of the participating Royal Navy vessels, which provided convoy protection, air and bombardment support and the other essential elements of a successful invasion operation. The book is a worthy reminder of the events of other half a century ago and of the massive contribution made by the Royal and Merchant Navies in moving the Allied armies, together with their supplies and equipment, to a new battle zone, expeditiously and with the absolute minimum of loss. This softback A4-size book has 152 pages and 157 photographs and other illustrations.

Authors: John de S. Winser
ISBN: 0-9543310-0-1
Publication Date: October 2002
Member’s price: £5+p&p (£3.20 UK, £9.510EU & Rest of the World)
Non-member’s price: £7.50+p&p (£3.20 UK, £9.50 EU & Rest of the World)

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