List of Posts and Galleries

Stories Left Behind: The Men and Ships of the Royal Navy in World War II


Click below to go to page with individual links to “Stories Left Behind”

New -Before the War

 “We Were Sent to Stop Illegal Immigrants” – HMS Galatea in the Middle East

“Showing the Flag” – HMS Ajax in the Americas

“I Was Too Young and Green to Have Charge of Much of Anything” – HMS Renown and HMS Hood collide

“Training Made a Man of Me” – HMS Warspite in Barcelona

“Do You Hear There? Prepare for War With All Haste”

Ajax’s First War Patrol

 “We Made Contact With Our First Enemy Ship”

“Suddenly a Lookout Sighted Smoke on the Horizon”- The Battle of the River Plate

“Our Guns Were Getting Hot”- A View of the Battle From Gun Turret B

“I’m Hit! I’m Hit!”- The Battle as Seen From Turret X

“Frightened to Death” – Other Views of the Battle

“We Had a Whale of a Time”- Celebrating the Navy’s First Victory

Updated – From Boys to Men: The Royal Navy’s Boy Seamen of World War II

 “You’re in the Navy Now!”- The First Weeks

“Nozzers”- Trainees

“It Would Have Been Unthinkable to Complain to Your Parents”- Drill and Discipline

“It Was Agony on Your Feet”- Getting Ready for Sea Duty

“Life on Board for a Boy Was Pretty Hard”- Growing Up on a Battleship

Updated – The “R”-Class Battleships

 “No Match for a Strong Enemy” – The R-Class Battleships

“Thrilled to be Able to Go to Sea”- Joining HMS Royal Oak

“Keep Calm Boys … Everybody Will be Alright”- The Loss of HMS Royal Oak

“You Name It, We Did It”- A Ship’s Cook Aboard HMS Ramillies

“This Ship Will Have No Hurt, Provided the Captain Wears This Ma’ori Skirt”

“There Were Bullets Flying Everywhere”- A Midshipman Aboard HMS Resolution

“A Sad Situation”- The British Attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir

“We Gave the French an Ultimatum” -The Action as Seen From HMS Hood

“It Was Murder”- France’s Sailors Remember

“The British Sailor With the Eye Patch”- Further Adventures of Midshipman Stedman

“Load! Load! Load!”: Gunfire Support Off the Beaches of Normandy

Updated – Loss and Controversy HMS Glorious, Ardent, and Acasta

 HMS Glorious

“A Stroll Along the Waterfront to Ogle the Girls”- Glorious’ Sailors and Airmen

“What Took You So Long?”- Leaving Norway

German Battlecruisers

“There Was Absolutely No Sign of Panic”- The Attack

“It All Seems Like a Dream to Me”- Survivors

“Through Fire and Water- HMS Ardent

“Bombs and Guns Started Exploding”- AB Roger Hooke and HMS Ardent

“Then We Knew They Were German Battleships”- With HMS Glorious

“We Settled Down to Our Fate As Best We Could”- From Six to Two, Then Just One

“She Fought With a Dash Which Was Outstanding”- A German Report

“The Loss of Their Loved Ones Has Not Been Properly Explained”- Questions for the Admiralty


 The Arctic Convoys

 We Are Fulfilling Our Obligations”- Supplies to Russia

“You Were Attacked From the Time You Left”- Convoys to Hell

“I’ll Have Your Balls for a Necktie!”- A Hostilities Only Sailor and HMS Edinburgh

“Going to Bat Against a Nasty Fast Bowler on a Bumpy Pitch”- HMS Edinburgh at War

“There Was a Huge Explosion”- Edinburgh’s Sunken Treasure

New – Little Ships; Heavy Burdens

 “They Would Roll on Wet Grass”- Corvettes

“Convoy Work Was Extremely Wearing on the Nerves”- U-Boats

“God Bless You for Stopping”- Nicholas Monsarrat, RNVR and Rescue at Sea

“Merchant Ships Fitted With Catapults.”- Air Power on a Shoestring

“It Was the Smallest Aircraft Carrier in the World”- Britain’s First Escort Aircraft Carrier – Made in Germany

“Roaring Curses at the Enemy”- The Fury of Battle

“The Stern Just Rose High in the Air” HMS Audacity Torpedoed

“I Was in a Favorable Position”- A German Version of the Attack on Audacity

“The Bay of Biscay in December Is Not the Healthiest Place to Be”- The Loss of a Ship

“Snotties”: An RNVR Midshipman and Times That Were Not Always Cruel

“Send in the Rescue Party!”- A Dubious Casualty of War

“So Another Historic Feat!”: Some Minesweeping Adventures

“People Talk About Miracles”- HMS Sharpshooter at Dunkirk

A Minesweeper, a Secret Weapon, and a Lot of Wine

“I’m Proud That I took Part in D-Day”- Action off Normandy

“It Was Dangerous Work at Times”- Clearing Mines After the War

New – Pilots, Planes, and Carriers

“One of the Crew Fell Out Over the Side – Remembering the Swordfish Torpedo Bomber

“They Put Up a Lot of Flak at Us”- The Raid on Taranto

“Dice With Death”- Carrier Takeoffs

“Sometimes They Crashed”- Carrier Landings

“I Enjoyed Life on the Ship More than on Shore”

“I Won’t Have My Ship Be Shot From Under My Ass!” – Bismarck Meets Hood

“They Came in Flying Low Over the Water”- Swordfish Versus Bismarck

“The Torpedo Hit Astern Was the Decisive Blow”- The Pilot Who ‘Sank’ Bismarck

“They Laid a Charge Against Me for Damaging an Aircraft”- The Pacific Theater

 Updated – Force Z and HMS Repulse Caught by a Japanese Tidal Wave

 “A Proud Sign of Continuing British Sea Power”- Repulse and Her Men

“I Feel We Could Have Accomplished More”- Routine, Monotony, and Disappointments

“Bleating Like a Flock of Lost Sheep”- There Was Time for Fun

“The Most Sincere Gesture From a Captain”- Morale Lifted

“We Are Going Off to Look for Trouble”- Force Z and the Far East

“Enemy Bombers Approaching. Height 21,000 Feet”- Repulse in Action

“I Knew Something Bad Had Happened”- Aftermath

Updated – Malta Under Siege

 “The Well Known Dreaded Sound of Falling Bombs”- The Attacks Begin

“I Later Found Out That Only One Man Survived”- Success Followed by Misfortune

“The Guns and Turrets Were Pockmarked by Splinters”- Penelope’s Ordeal

“It Was All Much More Glamorous Than Driving a Bus”- A Fighter Pilot on Malta

“There Were Worrying Reports on the Food Shortage”- Life During the Siege

Updated – The Loss of HMS Exeter in the East Indies and the Internment of Her Crew by the Japanese

“We Went Into Action”- HMS Exeter and the Battle of the Java Sea

“Abandon Ship!”- The End for Exeter

“It Seemed a Policy to Humiliate Us”- Prisoners

“A Handful of Rice and a Dried Fish Head”- Life in the Camps

“A Colossal Sheet of Flame Shot Into the Air”- The Atomic Bomb at Nagasaki

“I Can Never Forget … and I Can Never Forgive”

 Updated – Convoys for Malta

 “Engage the Leading Destroyer”- HMS Bedouin and Operation Harpoon

“The War Seemed Very Remote”- Prisoners of War

“Malta Looks to Us for Help. We Shall Not Fail Them”- A Last Ditch Convoy

“Mine, Bomb, or Torpedo” – HMS Rodney and Operation Pedestal

“There Was Absolute Mayhem”- HMS Eskimo and the Relief of Malta

The Royal Navy in the Pacific

 “We Sailed South ”- HMS King George V Joins the British Pacific Fleet

“You’d Get an Air Raid Warning”- KGV, and Friend or Foe?

“We Can No Longer Win the War by Adhering to Conventional Methods”- Special Attack Units

“They Were Very Difficult to Shoot Down”- Kamikazes

When Sailors Fell

 The Ship Hasn’t Been Announced as Sunk Yet”

“Return to Sender on Admiralty Instructions”

“And Gently Pressed the Bodies Until They Sank”- Burial at Sea

“After That I Didn’t Sleep Very Well”- Preparing Bodies

“Sold Before the Mast”- Personal Effects

Updated – Remembering the Wrens

 “I Am Proud to Have Served With Them”

“I Was on Duty and Feeling Very Sorry for Myself”- One Wren’s Christmas

“Joining the Wrens Was a Liberation”- Six Wrens Look Back

“A Lot of People Would Have Done Exactly the Same”- A Medal for a Wren

Original Post (2015) – Glide Bombs and Other Attacks off Salerno

“The Lady in White Saw Us Off” – HMS Warspite Heads to the Mediterranean

“I Could Really Have Touched It” – A Glide Bomb Hits Warspite

“There Seemed to Be Bodies Flying Through the Air and All” – Mines and Glide Bombs

“Suddenly, What Was Happening?” – The Loss of HMS Penelope

Original Post (2015) – The Battles of Convoys SC-130 and ONS-5

“A Convoy Is a Beautiful Thing” – Escorts and U-Boats

“It Seemed Collision Was Inevitable” The Battle of Convoy ONS-5

“We Were Heavily Depth Charged For 90 Minutes” – The Battle of Convoy SC-130

“There Was Never a More Dramatic Turn of Fortune” The Tide Turns Against the U-Boats

 Original Post (2015) – The Second Battle of Narvik and HMS Eskimo in Norway

The Destroyer Type Ship

The Tribal Class Destroyers

HMS Eskimo’s Ordeal in Norwegian Waters

Original Post (2015) – “I Was Sad That Our British Friends Had Sunk Us” – HMS Hood and the Attack on the French

 Mers-el-Kebir and the French Fleet

France’s Sailors Remember

Original Post (2015) – HMS Cornwell Catches the German Merchant Raider Pinguin

A Deceitful and Dangerous Enemy

“The Pinguin Blew Up” – HMS Cornwell Wins the Duel

New – Hostilities Cease

“An End to Six Years of War”

“The Crew Lined the Guardrails to Cheer the Prisoners of War”

“A Lot of People Were Drunk”- A V-J Day Celebration

“I Was Only Married a Fortnight”- War Brides

“If There’s a Heaven for People, There Could Be for Ships”

“I Came Off the Ship and I Was Lost”

Model Ship Photo Galleries

Die Schiffe der Deutschen Kriegrsmarine, 1939 – 1945

The Royal Navy, 1939 – 1945

Nihon Kaigun, 1941 – 1945

La Regia Marina d’Italia

La Marine Nationale and Les Forces Navales Francaises Libres

The Development of US Navy Battleships in the 20th Century

US Naval Aviation: Beginnings to Present