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A History of the Royal Navy: World War II

A History of the Royal Navy: World War II
Duncan Redford

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  • Hardback | In Stock | $35.00

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The Royal Navy's operations in World War II started on 3 September 1939 and continued until the surrender of Japan in August 1945 - there was no 'phoney war' at sea. The navy played a central role in the evacuation of the retreating British army at Dunkirk, and later orchestrated the sinking of Germany's mighty battleship and Hitler's pride, the Bismarck. Without the Royal Navy's attention to the defence of Britain's seaborne trade - especially in the struggle against German U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic - there would not have been food for the country, fuel for the RAF's operations or supplies to keep the army fighting in Europe, North Africa and the Far East. Yet the outstanding naval contribution to Britain's survival and eventual victory came at a heavy cost in terms of ships and to the men who had to face not just the violence of the enemy, but also the violence of the sea. This book argues that World War II was, effectively, a maritime war; it was the Royal Navy's war.

Author Info

Duncan Redford is Senior Research Fellow in Modern Naval History at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN). He previously held a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowships at the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter and is the author of The Submarine: A Cultural History from the Great War to Nuclear Combat (I.B.Tauris).


‘A concise and compelling one-volume account of the Royal Navy in WWII by a talented historian.’
Joe Maiolo, author of Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War 1931-1941

'The tale of the Royal Navy in the Second World War is one that deserves to be told; and this book tells it exceptionally well.  Vivid and immensely readable, it captures the drama of the unfolding events while also explaining their wider significance in the war.  Drawing on modern scholarship as well as original sources, it retells some familiar stories but also corrects a few myths and fills in some less well known episodes.  This fine book achieves the difficult aim of doing justice to the part played in the Second World War by the Royal Navy.'
Tim Benbow, Defence Studies Department, King's College London

‘An excellent narrative that guides the reader chronologically through the campaigns’
Richard Harding, Reviews in History

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780765464
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2014
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 135
Illustrations: 50 bw integrated, 16 colour in 8pp plates, 2-3 maps

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