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The Harwich Striking Force (Hardback)

The Royal Navy's Front Line in the North Sea 1914–1918

Maritime WWI Seaforth Royal Navy Naval Photographic Books The Great War at Sea

By Steve R. Dunn
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 133 black and white photos and 1 map
ISBN: 9781399015967
Published: 30th July 2022


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'The Harwich Force has made its name and will not be forgotten during the future annals of history’; so said Rear Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt on Armistice Day 1918. But that fame has not endured. Yet for the whole duration of the First World War, the Harwich Striking Force was the front line of the Royal Navy, a force of cruisers and destroyers defending the seas for the Allies.

Under a charismatic and aggressive leader, Reginald Yorke Tyrwhitt, U-boats, German cruisers, destroyers and light craft all met their ends at the hands of the Force, as did enemy seaplanes and Zeppelin airships. The Harwich ships were at sea almost daily throughout the war, haunting the German coast and the Friesian Islands, pioneering aerial attack from the sea, developing naval carrier aviation and combined air/sea operations, and hunting for enemy submarines and minelayers in the North Sea. The Harwich Force also took part in major naval battles alongside the Grand Fleet’s battlecruisers, and protected merchant ships operating in the dangerous waters around Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Britain.

The author also assesses the role played by the other Royal Navy formations at Harwich: submarines, auxiliary minesweeping and patrol vessels, the Felixstowe seaplane base and the town itself. And when the war was finally won, the Force gained further fame when the German U-boat fleet was surrendered there.

Lavishly illustrated, this book is an enthralling account of the men of the Harwich Force, of their grit and brave sacrifice and the key part that they played in the final Allied victory against Germany.

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About Steve R. Dunn

STEVE DUNN has a special interest in the Royal Navy of the late nineteenth century and the First World War, and has written biographies and narrative histories, most recently BlockadeSecuring the Narrow SeaBayly's WarSouthern Thunder , Battle in the Baltic and The Power and the Glory, all published by Seaforth, and the last awarded a certificate of merit at the Maritime Foundation awards in 2021.

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