By A. J. Chapman
One Man's Personal War at Sea with the Coastal Forces 1943-1945
Tony Chapman was born in Southampton in 1924. Aged 16 he watched with horror as the historic High Street of Southampton burnt to the ground in a firestorm caused by a heavy German bombing raid on the night of 30 November 1940. He vowed to join up and fight back. Tony joined the Navy.
Within hours of being posted to his first Motor Gun Boat, Telegraphist Tony Chapman was involved in an epic Coastal Forces engagement when his flotilla took on a force of thirty E-boats. Although their unit of two MGBs sank three E-Boats, it was at a high cost. Half of Tonys shipmates were killed or injured.
This was the start of an eventful and dramatic wartime service with these little warships. Tonys flotilla operated in the Mediterranean and Aegean where the Motor Gun Boats played a key role in this important but often neglected theater.
Daily life on these small ships is vividly described. The flotilla had a busy time showing the flag in the Levant and on combined operations in the Aegean with the Greek Sacred Regiment of Commandos. The culmination of their efforts was when Tonys boat, ML838, took the surrender of the Island of Kos in 1945.
War of the Motor Gun Boats fills an important gap in the literature of the Second World War.
Bought as a gift, interesting subject, recipient liked it
A very interesting book on an oft-neglected aspect of the naval conflict of WW2. Good reading at a great price!