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Q Ship vs U-Boat: 1914-18 (Duel Book 57) [Kindle Edition]

David Greentree , Ian Palmer , Peter Dennis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

Q ships came in all shapes and sizes - coastal steamer, trawler, barque, yacht or schooner - but all had to look harmless in order to lure their opponents to the surface and encourage them to attack. Armaments differed according to ship size; steamers commonly had 4in guns mounted amidships and in the bow, trawlers 3-pdrs and sailing ships 12-pdrs. Those who served on Q ships had to accept that their U-boat opponents would be able to strike first. Q ship captains kept ready a 'panic crew', which was trained to act out an elaborate evacuation to convince the U-boat commander that the ship was being abandoned by its crew. The Q ship captain would remain behind with a handful of other crewmen manning the guns, which remained hidden until the most opportune time to unmask and engage the U-boat. The Q ship concept had emerged early in the war when no other method seemed likely to counter the U-boat threat, and flourished until new technologies and tactics were developed, tested and implemented.

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"This edition by David Greentree covers the development and deployment of q-ships as well as how the tactics changed as the war progressed. It also covers the German side of things and how they reacted to this threat. There are a lot of great period photos and some fine art work and drawings to get an idea of how these ships were designed and used. There are also several superb examples of Q-ship operations and successes. It makes for a most interesting read, a book that no WWI naval fan should be without."- Scott Van Aken,

About the Author

David Greentree graduated in History at York before taking a MA in War Studies from Kings College London and qualifying as a lecturer in Further Education. In 1995 he accepted a commission in the Royal Air Force and has served in a variety of locations, including Afghanistan and Oman.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 18189 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I42Q6SQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #399,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another from a very good series 15 Jun. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Already having several from this series this is a valuable addition. For anyone interested in the often overlooked maritime history of the Great War this book is a revelation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has detailed illustrations of vessels and gives a concise history of a period in history that has often been overlooked. It is a must read for anyone interested in the role of the drifters at war as well as covert operations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By any means necessary... 25 Feb. 2014
By HMS Warspite - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In 1914, German willingness to use their submarines against Britain's merchant ships came as a shock to the Royal Navy. A flurry of improvisation eventually produced convoys, hydrophones, and sub hunters, but in the interim, Britain resorted to armed decoys known as "Q-ships." This is their story.

""Q Ship vs U-Boat 1914-1918" is an Osprey Duel Series entry, authored by David Greentree. It methodically explores an overlooked topic of the First World War at sea in considerable detail. The narrative covers the various types of merchant ships used as armed decoys, their commanders, and the results. The book includes an interesting discussion of German submarines of the period, and the tactics the Q ships and U-boats used against each other. The text is much enhanced by a nice selection of photographs, maps, diagrams and illustrations. The author provides a statistical analysis and frank assessment of the decidedly mixed results of the Q ship vs. U-boat duel, which may surprise some readers.

Like many Duel Series books, there is plenty of technical detail to chew over, along with short biographies of some of the more successful commanders on either side. The description of the infamous encounter between the Q-ship Baralong and U-27 is an illustration of the extent to which this particular duel could go. Highly recommended to the student and the general reader as light on a forgotten corner of the First World War.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basically in reading this book you come to the conclusion that the sailors of both of these ships were crazy 28 Mar. 2014
By Rick - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the book, it gave me a better understanding of what the German submarine personnel dealt with. My understanding of submarine life is mostly based off reading, TV, and movies. Even "Das Boot" does not give you an understanding of how strained life was in a WW1 U-boot. I had forgotten that submarines were only 15 or 16 years old when the war started. The U-boot of WW1 was nothing compared to even the cramped type VII of WW2. As for the British, these sailors agreed to sail around in U-boot infested waters hoping that they would be torpedoed by a sub, which would surface to finish them off so that they could engage with their own deck guns. The book also tells us that the British Navy didn't always where the white hat in this conflict.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little known history brought to us all 24 May 2014
By John Butler - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this title, illuminating as it does a little known part of the submarine war. As with all these books, I wish more detail was provided.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, except for one error..... 18 Sept. 2014
By historyguy - Published on
A good book which I picked up off the shelf at a bookstore. It has all of the Osprey basics like diagrams, great photos, artwork, and thrilling stories of the relatively little known Q ships. Q ships are often mentioned in passing in many works on the First World War, but this is the first book I have seen that tackles the topic on its own. After reading this book I realized the Q ships had successes, but probably weren't worth all of that effort, especially when the u boats started to simply torpedo ships without surfacing. Nonetheless, an interesting tale and a good story about pre-ASDIC anti-submarine warfare. I gave this book only three stars since on Page 31 there is a fairly large picture of U 35. When examined even cursorily it is absolutely apparent that it isn't the WWI U 35, but the WWII version. You can see very clearly the Eagle and swastika on the conning tower, and the crew's uniforms are clearly of WWII vintage. Since U 35 in WWI was the highest scoring u boat of all time (over 500,000 tons sunk) and commanded by the ace of aces, von Arnauld, this is a particularly grievous error for anyone who is a WWI u boat enthusiast. This should have been caught in editing, and shows there must have been some rushing going on during the creation of this book. I still like the book overall, but that picture is a big mistake.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 Dec. 2014
By RAYMOND C. CLAY - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
thank you
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