Read e-book online A Leaf upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, PDF

By Gordon W. Stead

ISBN-10: 0774802995

ISBN-13: 9780774802994

The Mediterranean Sea in global warfare II used to be the scene of lengthy and violent naval war among the British and the Axis powers, Italy and Germany. The tales of the key squadrons and their admirals were informed, as their activities led on to the results. here's the story of the smallest floor ships, their officials and males who, on the very tip of British sea energy in that disputed sea, performed very important roles in making attainable the successes of the extra recognized forces. it truly is instructed through one in all them -- a Canadian on mortgage to the Royal army who took a number one half from the bottom ebb in British fortunes throughout the fight opposed to nearly overwhelming odds to the climax of the 1st landings at the continent of Europe.

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Additional info for A Leaf upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, 1941-1943

Sample text

The MLs that were to be the focus of our lives were trim craft, seaworthy in almost any weather but very lively in a heavy sea. They had the fine lines of destroyers although they were much smaller (112' over-all length, 18' beam, 4' draught) and were built in yacht yards and other plants all around the United Kingdom. Powered by twin petrol engines, they could do up to 21 knots, with a range at 12 knots of 1,500 miles on their 5,000 gallons of high octane fuel carried in five self-sealing tanks fitted athwartships abaft the engine room.

The wheelhouse above the main or upper deck housed the steering compass and wheel, engine room telegraphs, asdic recorder, chart table and a settee. Abaft the wheelhouse and three steps up was the open bridge, along its front a ledge on which were arrayed the conning compass and racks to hold signal lamps and binoculars, and a protected writing surface for message pads and manuals; along its sides the flag lockers, and, in the starboard forward corner, a snap-up seat for the officer of the watch.

We had no satellite or inertial navigation, no Omega or loran, no radar or echo sounder, and, in small craft, no gyro compass, but we got there just the same. I took sights with the sextant on stars at dawn and dusk and the sun at noon from my lively ML platform. In keeping with the practice of the Navy with ships in company on an ocean passage, the four destroyers and those MLs which chose to do so exchanged their estimates of our noon position by means of festive flag hoists. When at last we made the land, I was pleased to find that my reckoning was as close as any in that proper Navy company.

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A Leaf upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, 1941-1943 by Gordon W. Stead


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