Securing the Narrow Sea: The Dover Patrol 1914-1918 [Dunn]

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The Dover Patrol, which brought together an assortment of vessels ranging from the modern to the antique and included cruisers, monitors, destroyers, trawlers, drifters, yachts, and airships, was commanded by a series of radical and polarizing personalities and increasingly manned by citizen volunteers. Between 1914 and 1918 the men of the Patrol sought to shut down German access to the Atlantic via the narrows of the English Channel, with the goal of preventing German-bound trade going in and U-boats, commerce raiders, and warships coming out. Their story has rarely been told, but it was the longest, and probably the most arduous, continuous naval campaign of the war, demanding much sacrifice of ships and men.

Using first-hand accounts of the participants, this book examines the wide-ranging exploits of the Dover Patrol—from shore bombardment, barrage building and maintenance, antisubmarine work, and escort duties to the protection of troops and supplies for the Western Front and ship-to-ship engagements with German forces. It also charts the in-fighting at the Admiralty which led to two changes of command and examines the personalities of the men involved.