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The X-Craft Raid, by Thomas Gallagher

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by ColHessler, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Length: 170 pages, including index

    This is the true story of the X-Craft midget submarines used by the Royal Navy to attack the Tirpitz in her Norwegian lair in 1943. We start off with Tirpitz's only sortie, the raid on Spitsbergen, and her return to Kaafjord, and cover behind torpedo nets. We then get the story of the British planning and conception of the little subs and their crews training in them for over a year before being towed by full-size British subs to carry out their daring attack.

    Gallagher interviews the surviving crew members of these little craft, as well as Germans from the ship they targeted, and Norwegian Resistance fighters who risked their lives to give the information the Royal Navy would need. He also gives us great descriptions and pictures of the Tirpitz, the X-Craft themselves, and the cramped conditions their crews had to deal with. We get a full description of the voyage to the target, and the boats they lost en route. There are also maps for the journey and the fjord itself and the positions of the charges laid which severely crippled the German battleship.

    Gallagher has a terrific writing style that brings you there, both in the description of the fjord and the terrain around it, but also the cramped feeling and fatigue suffered by the men who brought these craft to the fight. The descriptions can be a little tiring to read, but it's worth the effort.

    This book is worth your effort to find.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Reminds me of John Mills in "Above us the Waves" an absolute British classic...

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