Naval Warfare in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1940-1945

Naval Warfare in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1940-1945

Naval Warfare in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1940-1945

Naval Warfare in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1940-1945

Synopsis

The purpose of this book is two-fold. First, it presents in a single place a coherent account of the tumultuous naval events that took place in the Eastern Mediterranean between 1940 and 1945, during World War II. Second, it aims to demonstrate in an interesting fashion what naval warfare in the narrow seas is really like.

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is first of all to present in a single place a coherent account of the tumultuous naval events that took place in the eastern Mediterranean between 1940 and 1945, during the Second World War.

Almost everyone knows of the events that occurred in the western Mediterranean during this period -- the great Malta convoys, the Allied invasion of French North Africa, even the invasion of Sicily and mainland Italy, shared by both East and West -- but few are aware that in the East these events were matched by others. At most, we have read or heard about the British Eighth Army in the desert, and perhaps Crete.

Unless one is aware of the whole Mediterranean story, Allied naval strategy in the East seems confused, lacking substantial political or military purpose. Nonetheless, it had one. It was not just a matter of fighting the king's enemies wherever they were found. This I attempt to make clear.

There is a second purpose too, namely to demonstrate in an interesting fashion what naval warfare in the narrow seas is really like. Navies have to fight differently in these seas than they do on the open ocean. We Americans do not always understand this, and we need to. In the 1990s, the narrow seas are where the wars are going to be.

In a way, this book can be seen as a companion piece to my Narrow Seas, Small Navies and Fat Merchantmen, published by Praeger in 1990. It is all still valid today; weapons and tactics change, the principles of strategy do not.

This book is not a full history of the period or the area covered and should not be taken as such. Many things -- repetitive or peripheral -- have been left out. The book does include, however, enough detail to give the . . .

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