HMS Gloucester

The Untold Story

Ken Otter

Date Published :
February 2005
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
108 black & white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526702111
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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On 22 May 1941 the cruiser HMS Gloucester (The Fighting 'G') was sunk by aircraft of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Crete. Of her crew of 807 men, only 83 survived to come home at the end of the War in 1945. It is unknown how many men went down with the ship and how many died in the sea clinging to rafts and flotsam during the many hours before the survivors were finally rescued by boats searching for German soldiers who were victims of a previous British naval attack. The fact that Allied destroyers were in the proximity and were not sent to the rescue was a result of poor naval communications and indecision by the local fleet commanders. Gloucester had been low on anti-aircraft ammunition and her crew exhausted before being dispatched from the main fleet to search for the stricken destroyer HMS Greyhound. With only HMS Fiji as company, she came under attack from German bombers and when Gloucester's ammunition was finally exhausted she suffered several direct hits and was set ablaze from stem to stern and left out of control.

This book looks at the ship's history and operational successes from her launching in 1937 to her final demise. It includes many first-hand accounts from the surviving crew and the author's painstaking research has revealed the awful truth about one of the Royal Navy's greatest disasters during World War Two.

About The Author

Ken Otter's father, Fred Otter was Chief Yeoman aboard HMS Gloucester and was killed when she sank in 1941. Ken was then only seven months old. After service in the Royal Navy he joined the Metropolitan Police and retired in 1990 as a Chief Inspector. Since then he has been researching the history of the terrible wartime incident that denied him a father.

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