British Naval Trawlers and Drifters in Two World Wars
Trawlers and drifters served in both world wars in their thousands; and, in their tens of thousands, so did their fishermen crews. Indeed, these humble craft were the most numerous vessel type used by the Royal Navy in both wars, and were part of the answer to the strategic or tactical conundrums posed by new technologies of mines and submarines. British Naval Trawlers and Drifters in Two World Wars examines the ships themselves, their design, construction, arming, operations and development; it also relates how the trawlermen and skippers, from the age-old fishing ports of Grimsby, Hull, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Aberdeen and Fleetwood, came to be part of the Royal Navy, and describes the roles they played, the conditions they served under and the bravery they showed.
The first part tells how the fishing fleet came to be an integral part of the Royal Navy’s pre-1914 plans and details some of the activities and actions of trawlers and drifters at war in 1914-18. And the second investigates the armed fishing fleet in the struggle of 1939-45.
The book takes some 30 large sheets of drawings of these vessels from the John Lambert collection. John Lambert was a renowned naval draughtsman, whose plans were highly valued for their accuracy and detail by modelmakers and enthusiasts. On his death, the collection was acquired by Seaforth Publishing.
These wonderfully detailed drawings, which are backed by a selection of photographs and a detailed complementary text, offer a superb technical archive for enthusiasts and ship modellers; but the book also tells a fascinating story of the extraordinary contribution the vessels and their crews made to the defeat of Germany in two world wars.
What the critics say
‘it’s a wonderful book…..a really cool book’
Dr Alexander Clarke in a U-tube broadcast, December 2021 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzxIPDh6mm4)
‘If like me you know little or nothing of the work of these small ships in both World Wars, I heartily recommend reading this one…….author Steve R Dunn has done well in giving us a context to broaden our understanding of them all’.
Robin Buckland’s Military Model Scene
‘As my family were driftermen, this book was a must-read. The photos and war history was a very good read indeed. Recommend it’.
Ron Taylor, FEPOW Family
'The story begins with the realisation that special ships would be needed to defend against the newly developed mines and submarines of the early 20th century. …The chapters dealing with the work of these ships offer deep insight into the workload and working conditions of the crews, and importantly their bravery. The numbers serving, and the sadly losses make a big impact on the reader. The process is repeated for the next war, and the reader is again left in a sense of awe for these men and their ships.
The quality of reproduction is superb, with the book being printed on gloss paper and large pages. The detail is astounding. Whether a modeller, or simply a naval enthusiast, this book will be an excellent addition to your library'.
‘The quality of the publication is such that if the content had been limited to the many photographs and drawings with simple annotations it would have been a very interesting book but with Steve Dunn’s supporting narrative it is raised to a higher level. We highly recommend it’.
Clash of Steel
‘Steve Dunn ….was an excellent choice by the publishers to provide a clear and engaging text. The high-quality photographs, excellent line drawings and plans of the ships and weaponry along with informative appendices and a fulsome index make this work a fitting commemorative to these vessels and the crews that manned them as well as a great addition to the library of anyone with an interest in naval technology and history’.
Martin Willoughby, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association
‘The great feature of the book of course is the exquisitely detailed double-page spread line drawings of trawlers, drifters, equipment and armaments which comprise 58 pages towards the latter end of the book and were John Lambert's life work. Given this focus it would be very easy for the book to be satisfied with being a fairly dry illustrated catalogue, but Steve Dunn avoids this by providing an excellent, readable survey of the subject alongside the plan detail, the one complementing the other... Highly recommended. 4 stars’.
ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)
‘I can’t recommend this book highly enough.’
Cher Ami, GWSIG Newsletter, International Plastic Modellers Society (UK), March 2022
'Naval historian Steve R Dunn is described as editor and as providing ‘an introduction’. This is serious understatement. Dunn’s 130 knowledgeable and well-written pages offer fascinating insight into the ways variety of ways fishing vessels were used during the two world wars'.
Yachting Monthly, February 2022
‘Steve Dunn has edited and produced an excellent volume which is a valuable resource of maritime and naval history. It is also a superb tribute to Great Britain’s fishing fleet and its crews.’
Roger Coleman, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association
‘These wonderfully detailed drawings, which are backed by a selection of photographs and a detailed complementary text, offers a superb technical archive for enthusiasts and ship modellers, but the book also tells a fascinating story of the extraordinary contribution the vessels and their crews made to the defeat of Germany in Two World Wars.’
Alistair Graham Kerr, Journal for the Pillbox Study Group, Number 83
‘Pick this large format book up and skim the pages, and immediately you get the feel of something comprehensive. There are many superb black and white photographs in this book, equally superbly reproduced, which really bring these vessels to life’.
Fishing News, June 2022
You get the history of the roles of the merchant fleet in the wars, accompanied by some excellent photographs. The large format pays off and the result is not the stuffy, academic exercise you might have expected. Well worth a read.
The Armourer March 2022
Steve Dunn examines the ships themselves, their design, construction, arming, operations and development. In particular, he relates how the trawlermen and skippers from the fishing ports of Grimsby, Hull, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Aberdeen and Fleetwood came to fulfil an outstanding role in the Royal Navy. This they achieved with great bravery and distinction…..it is a highly readable account of these magnificent craft and their tough dedicated crews. They were very much the unsung heroes of the Royal Navy and their story deserves to be told.
The Naval Review, December 2022