K Boat Catastrophe: Eight Ships and Five Collisions

The full story of the ‘Battle’ of the Isle of May

N S Nash

On 31 January 1918 nine K
Class steam-powered submarines sailed
with the Grand Fleet to Exercise in the
North Sea. The ships left the Firth of
Forth at a speed of 21 knots on a cold
winter night with the flagship HMS
Courageous leading the way. Background
information on the evolution of the
ill-fated and much hated K Class submarines is also includ
Date Published :
July 2009
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
50 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781844159840
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$39.99

Overview
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On 31 January 1918 nine K Class steam-powered submarines sailed with the Grand Fleet to Exercise in the North Sea. The ships left the Firth of Forth at a speed of 21 knots on a cold winter night with the flagship HMS Courageous leading the way. Following in her wake was HMS Ithuriel and the K Class submarines of the 13th Submarine Flotilla and then 5 nautical miles astern of them, four more capital warships.

As they approached The Isle of May navigational confusion broke out, caused by the misinterpretation of ship's steaming lights and mayhem followed. During the next couple of hours five collisions occurred involving eight ships and resulting in the death of 105 officers and ratings. This fiasco and the resulting naval investigation and court marshal were shielded from the general public and kept in secret files until the full details were released in 1994. From this official report, the author now tells the full story of that dreadful night and the proceedings that followed. Background information on the evolution of the ill-fated and much hated K Class submarines is also included together with the investigation and court marshal proceedings of the events surrounding that tragic night.

About The Author
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NA ‘Tank’ Nash CBE was educated at Latymer Upper School before entering the catering industry with J Lyons and Co Ltd. He enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company in 1957 and served until conscripted for National Service in 1960; he was a member of the Army Catering Corps for thirty years, rising to the rank of Brigadier. He resigned his commission in 1991. For thirty-three years, from 1973, he wrote humour under the pen name ‘Sustainer’ and his work was published internationally in a variety of military journals. His books for Pen and Sword include K Boat Catastrophe, ‘Strafer’ Gott – Desert General, Chitral Charlie – The Rise and Fall of Major General Charles Townshend and Valour in the Trenches.

REVIEWS
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"…an interesting read which goes into the personalities and politics of a weapons system which was unloved and feared by their crews."

- IPMS/USA

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