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The Secrets of HMS "Dasher" [Paperback]

John Steele , Noreen Steele
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Aug 2002
March 27th 1943 saw one of the biggest catastrophes in British naval history as the converted aircraft carrier HMS Dasher blew up and sank in the River Clyde. The loss of 379 lives was second only in home waters to the Royal Oak.

Yet mystery surrounded the circumstances of this tragedy and until this book appeared, many of the survivors and the bereaved relatives of casualties had no idea what had happened. Shrouded in wartime secrecy, the most basic facts about trauma, injury and death were not known.

Local authors John and Noreen Steele have gleaned further testimonies and facts since first publication and in this fourth new edition Dasher has given up more of her secrets. Seabed surveys and contacts from friends and survivors have yielded both the horror of war and information about the circumstances of the explosion and sinking of a strategically important vessel.

An amazing connection has been established also with The Man Who Never Was - the Allied ruse to trick the Germans about the likely point of mainland Europe invasion. It seems certain from evidence presented in this new book that the body used was a Dasher fatality. This new edition names the man whose body was used in the trick. This is sure to attract further extensive publicity.

First published in 1995 as The Tragedy of HMS Dasher, reprinted in 1996 and published in a new hardback edition in 1997 (They Were Never Told), this
successful book first appeared in paperback in 2002.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Argyll Publishing; 3rd Revised edition edition (9 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190283139X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902831398
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

An extract from the Foreword by Brian Wilson

"Even the announcement of the Dasher's loss, in The Times of London, came a full two years after the event and was conveyed in the tiniest of print. It was not good for British morale, at home or abroad, to advertise an avoidable tragedy which had not even occurred at the hands of the enemy.
The whole process, to which the Steeles have given sustained leadership, of finally recognising the sacrifices of those who lost their lives on board HMS Dasher has been immensely appreciated. This applies both to the families of the victims and also to the survivors who must have wondered if the loss of their comrades was ever going to be properly recognised." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of HMS Dasher 10 Sep 2002
Format:Paperback
This is the third book by the authors on the subject of HMS Dasher, which in 1943 mysteriously sank off the west coast of Scotland with the loss of 379 servicemen. In this book, the authors point to many co-incidences which suggest that the HMS Dasher was involved in the ingenious plan to outfox the Germans, which became known as "The man who never was". In this well documented plan, top military intelligence plotted to deceive the Germans into believing that the allies planned to invade mainland Europe through Greece, when in fact the real location was Sicily. To achieve this, a body was dressed as an officer, planted with false but authentic looking documents, and released into the Mediterranean sea.The plan worked, and the allies successfully entered Europe through Sicily while the Germans concentrated their defences in Greece. The identity of the serviceman used has been a mystery for almost 60 years. This book investigates the role of the HMS Dasher in this plot and includes interviews with the few survivors of the disaster. A good read for anyone interested in wartime strategy or military history.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of HMS Dasher 24 May 2003
Format:Paperback
The tragic sinking of HMS Dasher in the Firth of Clyde off the coast of Ardrossan, the home town of John and Noreen Steele, is told in their 3rd successful book on this topic 'The Secrets of HMS Dasher', and reveals yet more details of this 1943 wartime mystery.
With tenacity and patience John and Noreen have researched deeply into the MOD archives and found evidence of a devious plot hatched by a 'Top Secret Military Intelligence' team which enabled the allies to successfully invade Sicily.
The body of an unidentified Dasher fatality, carrying fake invasion plans for Greece, was deposited by a submarine in the water of the coast of southern Spain. He was found by local fishermen and eventually the plans were passed via a German undercover agent to Berlin. They were so convincing that even after the invasion of Sicily had started Hitler still kept his main force guarding Greece.
Thousands of allied lives were saved by this subterfuge, but why did the Government keep so many secrets for so many years? Whose son, brother, husband, father was THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS?
Draw your own conclusions after reading the moving eye witness accounts as told by the few remaining survivors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HMS Dasher 8 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent study of one of WW2's tragic mysteries. The detailed investigation and obvious sympathetic treatment of the subject is to be recommended as a model of historic investigation. The now inevitable inclusion of "The Man Who Never Was" details is an eye-opener itself. Happy to recommend to all.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly but not quite 24 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book for those with specialist interests.The sinking of Dasher is referred to in several books but this is the first reasonably full account that I have found.It is a good book from that point of view although it still leaves the reader without a firm conclusion as to the causes of the sinking. Perhaps that is not surprising as it appears that the official sources haven't made their minds up either. The book does suggest that the investigation was not as complete as it should have been and that this may have been for security reasons.

The writing style is honest although I thought it tried to be just a little sensationalist without enough evidence particularly where it tries to link the sinking to the body used for "The Man Who Never Was".

As I say, a good book but it left me wanting more. That may be unfair though if all the evidence available has been used?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars controversial book 8 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A little known story and incident from WWII,which for years was hidden from the public.An interesting book which explores some possibilities
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