Charts and Maps Related to “The Sea Takes No Prisoners”

This selection of charts and maps — many of which are from Naval_Hitory.Net — will help to illustrate some of the events described in the posted excerpts of “Stories Left Behind.” They are also interesting to look at independent of any other narrative.

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Map Home Isles

ROYAL NAVY BASES AND FACILITIES IN HOME WATERS – 1939

Map Foreign Stations

THE ROYAL NAVY’S GLOBAL PRESENCE – 1939

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: BEFORE THE WAR)

Map Battle of river Plate

THE ROYAL NAVY’S FIRST VICTORY … HMS EXETER, AJAX, AND ACHILLES (WITH LATER ASSISTANCE BY HMS CUMBERLAND) DEFEAT THE GERMAN RAIDER AND ARMORED CRUISER GRAF SPEE – DECEMBER – 1939

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: THE ROYAL NAVY’S FIRST VICTORY)

Poster glorious

CHART SHOWING TRACKS OF GERMAN BATTLE CRUISERS SCHARNHORST AND GNEISENAU AND THOSE OF HMS GLORIOUS, ARDENT, AND ACASTA WHEN ALL THREE BRITISH SHIPS WERE SUNK BY THE GERMANS ON 08 JUNE 1940

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: LOSS AND CONTROVERSY HMS GLORIOUS…) 

Mers-el-Kebir

JULY 1940: OPERATION CATAPULT. THE ROYAL NAVY ATTACKS NAVAL ASSETS OF WOULD-BE ALLY FRANCE IN AN ATTEMPT TO KEEP FRENCH WARSHIPS OUT OF AXIS HANDS

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: THE R-CLASS BATTLESHIPS … AND I WAS SAD THAT OUR BRITISH FRIENDS HAD SUNK US …)

Map FAA Attack on Taranto

OCTOBER 1940: THE ROYAL NAVY LAUNCHES A SURPRISE CARRIER RAID ON THE ITALIAN BASE AT TARANTO. JAPAN IS INSPIRED TO LAUNCH A DUPLICATE ATTACK AGAINST PEARL HARBOR IN DECEMBER 1941.

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: PILOTS, PLANES, AND CARRIERS)

Map Med and Malta

1940: THE STRATEGIC SITUATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN. BRITAIN MUST CONTROL GIBRALTAR TO MAINTAIN SECURITY OVER THE SEA’S WESTERN OPENING, MALTA ALLOWS AXIS NORTH AFRICA TO BE CONTESTED, ALEXANDRIA CONTROLS ACCESS TO MIDDLE EASTERN OIL AND THE SUEZ CANAL, AND THE AXIS SOUTHERN FLANK CAN BE THREATENED

(SEE RELATED EXCERPTS: THE SIEGE OF MALTA AND CONVOYS FOR MALTA)

Malta poster copy

MALTA IS BRITAIN’S KEY TO THE MEDITERRANEAN. KEY ROYAL AIR FORCE AND ROYAL NAVY FACILITIES ARE SHOWN IN RED CIRCLES

(SEE RELATED EXCERPTS: THE SIEGE OF MALTA AND CONVOYS FOR MALTA)

Map Pedestal

ONE LAST DESPERATE CONVOY WAS SENT TO A STARVING AND MILITARILY DEPLETED MALTA IN AUGUST 1942.

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: CONVOYS FOR MALTA)

Map British Convoy Routes 40 - 41

THE GERMAN U-BOAT THREAT HAD NOT HIT FULL STRIDE THROUGH 1940. BY 1941, HOWEVER, THE PERSISTENCE, SKILL, AND FEROCITY OF MASSED “WOLF PACK” TACTICS HAD BEGUN TO TAKE A TOLL ON SHIPPING BOUND TO OR FROM BRITAIN.

(SEE RELATED EXCERPTS:LITTLE SHIPS, HEAVY BURDENS AND CONVOYS SC-130 AND ONS-5)

Map Exeter

A MIXED ALLIED FORCE (ABDA FOR AUSTRALIAN, BRITISH, DUTCH & AMERICAN) FACED OFF AGAINST THE JAPANESE ONSLAUGHT OF EARLY 1942. HMS EXETER, A PART OF ABDA, FOUGHT BRAVELY AND WELL, BUT TO NO AVAIL.

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: HMS EXETER …)

map Force Z

JUST DAYS AFTER THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR, JAPANESE AERIAL ATTACKS SINK TWO BRITISH CAPITAL SHIPS SENT TO PROTECT SINGAPORE

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: FORCE Z …)

Map Russian Convoy Routes

HITLER’S INVASION OF RUSSIA POSED GRAVE DANGER FOR THE ALLIES. RUSSIA COULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO FALL, SO HUNDREDS OF ALLIED SHIPS BRAVED BITTER CLIMATES AND FIERCE ATTACKS TO CARRY WAR MATERIALS TO MURMANSK OR ARCHANGEL

(SEE RELATED EXCERPT: ARCTIC CONVOYS …)

Map General Area of Operations for BPF

THE BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET WAS FORMED IN LATE 1944 TO HELP PUSH JAPAN BACK AND TO RE-ESTABLISH BRITISH COLONIAL CONTROL IN ASIA.

Poster Laffey

THIS CHART, SHOWING MASSED KAMIKAZE ATTACKS AGAINST A SINGLE SHIP, DEMONSTRATES THE RIGORS AND TERRORS ENDURED BY THE BPF AND ITS ALLY, THE US NAVY FROM LATE 1944 UNTIL THE LAST DAY OF THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC

(SEE RELATED POST: THE BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET AND KAMIKAZES)

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