The Harwich Naval Forcesby E. F. Knight
This is an account of the Royal Navy forces of the First World War which operated out of Harwich, a Haven Port on the North Sea coast of Britain in the county of Essex blessed with deep water. Situated on the mouth of the estuaries of the Stour and Orwell rivers, it provided the only safe anchorage between the Thames and the
The Royal Navy at war from the home front
This is an account of the Royal Navy forces of the First World War which operated out of Harwich, a Haven Port on the North Sea coast of Britain in the county of Essex blessed with deep water. Situated on the mouth of the estuaries of the Stour and Orwell rivers, it provided the only safe anchorage between the Thames and the Humber. Its significance and value as a naval base for military purposes was always evident and from the 17th century it has been heavily fortified. So when war was declared in 1914, Harwich's value and importance was obvious and the base became operational, vitally guarding the English Channel to the south and the route to the Atlantic for the German fleet to the north. The author of this book came to the task as a result of his long familiarity with the area, and within these pages he describes every aspect of the naval work that was concentrated on Harwich. This provides a fascinating insight into the activities of the Home Fleet during the conflict. The early action at Heligoland Bight is covered among others. Convoys and patrol duties of both vessels and seaplanes are also dealt with in some detail. This was the home of the Harwich Submarine Flotilla and its work, including reconnaissance, is fully described. Finally mine-laying and sweeping and the activities of the Royal Naval Trawler Reserve and the Harwich Auxiliary force are covered. Jutland provided the only major sea battle of the Great War and other naval actions across the globe were comparatively small-scale. Most significantly the narrow seaways between island Britain and continental Europe had to remain tenable. Across these narrow waters the greatest army the British Empire had ever mobilised fought in deadly stalemate and was in perpetual need of essential men and material. This is an engrossing story of the First World War at sea and of the men and ships that provided protection and vigilance.
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