Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Well written account into the disappearance of World War 2 submarine-but still unresolved
on 19 June 2016
Well written account of 'Unbeaten' service in World War 2 and it's loss on 11th November 1942, most probably from 'friendly 'fire' from a Wellington Bomber assuming that they were attacking a U boat. The book's strengths are that the writer has contacted descendants of the men who perished, has served for a long term in the Royal Navy, manages to describes the technical aspects of submarine warfare, and presents a whole history of the submarine from being built until being lost at sea. A fair amount of background detail about members of the crew and a prisoner of war they captured also emerge.
It's always useful to have a reminded that 1941 and 1942 saw real threats to Britain losing the war. The writer stresses that the German failure at the Battle of Britain initially saw Operation Sea Lion postponed to Spring 1941 , not cancelled . Whilst Roosevelt was of the opinion that Britain couldn't defeat Germany and Germany would take British possessions in the Caribbean . And the history of 'Unbeaten' was so bound to the Siege of Malta, which was very nearly a British defeat, and the men serving with 'Unbeaten' made a vital contribution to saving the island. The author also can recount facts about how other World War 2 submarines fought and were sometimes lost .
As a one time resident of Hove, I was familiar with the fact that Hove had adopted 'Unbeaten' during the local 'Warship Week' of 14th March -24th March 1942 and raised over half a million pounds for the submarine.
There was a sense of anti-climax towards the end when it's revealed that the official report from the Court of Inquiry into the submarine's loss and embargoed until 1972, is no longer available, I can't be the only reader was hoping that something more conclusive could be unearthed by the author. Yes David Smith details the case for and against the contention that 'Unbeaten' was the submarine that was attacked by the Wellington bomber of 11th November 1942. But a conclusion may never be reached.