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Secret Naval Investigator (Hardback)

The Battle Against Hitler's Secret Underwater Weapons

WWII Maritime All Frontline Books Frontline: WWII

By Commander F. Ashe Lincoln, Foreword by Commander Del McKnight
Frontline Books
Pages: 182
ISBN: 9781526701190
Published: 24th April 2017

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In the lead-up to the Second World War, Ashe Lincoln, a junior barrister, had enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a Sub-Lieutenant. On the outbreak of war he became determined to serve at sea and was posted to minelayers. But a mysterious midnight summons sent him hurrying from his ship to the Admiralty in London and a top-secret conference presided over by Winston Churchill.

Ashe Lincoln soon found himself pitting his wits against brilliantly skilful German scientists and technicians. These were the men Hitler had entrusted to devise secret underwater weapons sea mines and torpedoes of new and often unsuspected types to destroy Britains seapower and starve its population into surrender. The part that Ashe Lincoln played in this battle had been decided upon because he was a naval officer who combined legal training with a specialist knowledge in this particular aspect of naval warfare.

In time, Lincoln began a key figure in a small group in the Admiralty whose exploits have been almost forgotten. He found himself in extraordinary situations, including crouching on a bleak Scottish hillside dealing with the first parachute mine knowing that Goering had boasted that no-one would live to do this. His story is a remarkable blend of deductive enterprise and courage.

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About Commander F. Ashe Lincoln

Fredman Ashe Lincoln was born in Bradford in 1907. Called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1929, he enlisted in the RNVR in 1937. He joined the Royal Navy as a sub-lieutenant when the Second World War began. For his work in the recovery of one of the first magnetic mines he was Mentioned in Despatches. Ashe then volunteered for the Commandos and took part in the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy, again being Mentioned in Despatches for his part in the landings at Salerno, before serving in the North West Europe campaign. In the City of London Lincoln was a liveryman and Master of the Worshipful Company of Plasterers between 1949 and 1950. He died on 19 October 1998 aged 90.


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Very Special Ships is the first full-length book about the six Abdiel-class fast minelayers, the fastest and most versatile ships to serve in the Royal Navy in the Second World War. They operated not only as offensive minelayers – dashing into enemy waters under cover of darkness – but in many other roles, most famously as blockade runners to Malta. In lieu of mines, they transported items as diverse as ammunition, condensed milk, gold, and VIPs. Distinguished by their three funnels, the Abdiels were attractive, well-designed ships, and they were also unique – no other navy had such ships,…

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