Bayly's War (Hardback)
The Battle for the Western Approaches in the First World War
Colin Grazier lecture attracts history fans
Steve Dunn gives Colin Grazier Memorial Lecture part of the Tamworth Literary Festival
Bayly’s War is the story of the Royal Navy’s Coast of Ireland Command (later named Western Approaches Command) during World War One.
Britain was particularly vulnerable to the disruption of trade in the Western Approaches through which food and munitions (and later soldiers) from North America and the Caribbean and ores and raw materials from the Southern Americas, all passed on their way to Liverpool or the Channel ports and London. After the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915 and the introduction of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans, Britain found herself engaged in a fight for survival as U-boats targeted all incoming trade in an attempt to drive her into submission. Britain’s naval forces, based in Queenstown on the southern Irish coast, fought a long and arduous battle to keep the seaways open, and it was only one they began to master after American naval forces joined in 1917.
Vice-Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly was the man appointed to the Coast of Ireland Command. A fierce disciplinarian with a mania for efficiency, and thought by some of his colleagues to be more than a little mad, Bayly took the fight to the enemy. Utilising any vessel he could muster – trawlers, tugs, yachts – as well as the few naval craft at his disposal, he set out to hunt down the enemy submarines. The command also swept for mines, escorted merchantmen and fought endlessly against the harsh Atlantic weather. Relief came When America sent destroyers to Queenstown to serve under him, and Bayly, to the surprise of many, integrated the command into a homogenous fighting force.
Along the way, the Command had to deal with the ambivalent attitude of the Irish population, the 1916 Easter Rising, the attempt to land arms on Ireland’s west coast and the resurgence of Irish nationalism in 1917.
Bayly’s War is a vivid account of this vigorous defence of Britain’s trade and brings to life the U-boat battles, Q-ship actions, merchant ship sinkings and rescues as well as the tireless Bayly, the commander at the centre.
The WWII Battle of the Atlantic has received much more coverage than the WWI Battle of the Atlantic. This new book gives a comprehensive coverage to the subject of the WWI anti-submarine warfare with fresh insight – Strongly Recommended.Firetrench
Read the complete review here.
This is a fascinating narrative of a vital but too much neglected aspect of our fight for national survival - well researched, well ordered and well presented, with an interesting collection of contemporary photographs.Robert Griffiths, Amazon
Article: 'New war book on naval man' as featured inChichester Post, 13th February 2018
Article: Moving tales from Willie's wartime diary (page 13 – won't run on Chrome) as featured bySouth Warrington News, February 2018
Article: 'The son of a Beamont head tacher who was a reluctant First World War hero' as featured byWarrington Guardian, 10th February 2018
Article: 'Barnt Green author Steve Dunn releases 6th book Bayly's War' by Emily Collis as featured byBromsgrove Advertiser, 10th February 2018
Article: WWI naval reserve was shot dead on shore leave by Stephen Blease as featured inThe Cumberland News, 2nd February 2018
Article: 'Lives of heroic Bury First World War sailors retold in new book' by Brad Marshall as featured onBury Times, 5th February 2018
Article: 'Cumbrian sailor featured in World War I book that honours unsung heroes' as featured onCumbria 24, 31st January 2018
Article: 'Kirkcaldy sailor's story features in new World War I book' by Fiona Dobie as featured onFife Today, 2nd February 2018
Article: 'New book honours WWI heroes' by Ryan O'Neill as featured onCork Independent, 31st January 2018
Article: 'York war hero features in book' by Daniel Willers as featured onYork Press, 1st February 2018