Hearts of Oak: The Human Tragedy of HMS Royal OakPaperback
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- Publisher: Amberley Publishing
- Format: Paperback | 128 pages
- Dimensions: 170mm x 244mm x 12mm | 422g
- Publication date: 1 October 2010
- Publication City/Country: Chalford
- ISBN 10: 1848689446
- ISBN 13: 9781848689442
- Edition statement: New ed.
- Illustrations note: 100 photographs, 50 colour
- Sales rank: 977,937
The story of the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak by German submarine which cost the lives of 833 Royal Navy sailors. HMS Royal Oak was a Revenge-class battleship of the British Royal Navy, infamously torpedoed at anchor by the German submarine U-47 on 14 October 1939. Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland when she became the first of the five Royal Navy battleships and battle cruisers sunk in the Second World War. The loss of life was heavy: of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 833 were killed that night or died later of their wounds. The raid made an immediate celebrity and war hero out of the German U-boat commander, Gunther Prien, who became the first submarine officer to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. To the British, the raid demonstrated that the Germans were capable of bringing the naval war to their home waters, and the shock resulted in rapidly arranged changes to dockland security. Now lying upside-down in 30 m of water with her hull 5 m beneath the surface, Royal Oak is a designated war grave.
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Dilip Sarkar is retired policeman and a deep wreck diver who has dived the German naval wrecks at Orkney on several occasions. He is the author of over 20 history books and in 2003 was made an MBE for services to aviation history. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. His other books include THE FEW: THE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN IN THE WORDS OF THE PILOTS ('A well-researched, detailed chronicle of the Battle of Britain - written by the men who fought so bravely to repulse the German raiders' HUGH SEBAG-MONTEFIORE), THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN: THE PHOTOGRAPHIC KALEIDOSCOPE ('An excellent book' LADY BADER), BADER'S TANGMERE SPITFIRES ('A most diligent and carefully researched account' JOHNNIE JOHNSON, the RAF's top scoring fighter ace in WW2), FIGHTER PILOT ('This book deserves to achieve success' DAME VERA LYNN), LAST OF THE FEW: 18 BATTLE OF BRITAIN FIGHTER PILOTS TELL THEIR EXTRAORDINARY STORIES and (as editor) BRIAN LANE: SPITFIRE: THE EXPERIENCES OF A BATTLE OF BRITAIN FIGHTER PILOT ('A very fine and vivid account' MAX ARTHUR). He lives in Worcester.
Table of contents
Introduction Chapter One: A Dangerous Peace Chapter Two: 'The Boldest of Bold Enterprises' Chapter Three: An Unhappy Ship Chapter Four: The Gates of Hell Chapter Five: Hearts of Oak Chapter Six: No Flowers on a Sailor's Grave Postscript Acknowledgements Bibliography List of Illustrations Index