Maritime Special Forces 1: The SBS
This is the first episode of a two-part mini-series on the history of maritime special forces. In this episode we hear about the Second World War origins, development and early history of the SBS – the ‘Special Boat Service’. To find out more Dr Sam Willis spoke with Saul David, a military historian given unprecedented access to the archives of the SBS for his book – SBS – Silent Warriors: The Authorised Wartime History. Founded in the dark days of 1940, Britain’s Special Boat Service was the world’s first maritime special operations unit. It started as an inexperienced and small outfit that leaned heavily on the courage and enthusiasm of volunteers but went on to change the course of the war. Its operational inventiveness has served as a model for special forces ever since. Their assignments were some of the most challenging of the war. Feted by history they have gone on to become legendary military operations. The SBS operated globally: in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Channel and the Far East. Operating with flimsy canoes and armed with close-combat weapons – often nothing more than knives, pistols and their bare hands – these men operated repeatedly and successfully deep behind enemy lines. They landed secret agents, destroyed enemy infrastructure, attacked enemy shipping, spread uncertainty and fear and paved the way of some of the most important large-scale operations of the war, including D-Day.
- View The Transcription
From the Society for Nautical Research in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation, I’m Sam Willis. And this is the Mariners Mirror podcast, the world’s number one podcast dedicated to all of maritime history. Hello everyone and welcome to the Mariners Mirror Podcast. Today we are heading into the inky darkness of the history of maritime special operations, or special maritime operations, or special operations maritime. Well, you get the picture, we’re talking clandestine, amphibious, specialised, elite, independent, subtle, and above all eye wateringly courageous ocean and river based operations. In the Second World War. It’s the history of the SBS the special boat service. To find out more I spoke with the military historian Saul David, author of numerous fabulous books on the military past and whose most recent book is on you guessed it, the SBS and it is called, you guessed it, SBS though it does have the subtitle silent warriors. I hope you enjoy listening to him as much as I enjoyed talking with him a long time companion of mine in the world of public history. A board entertainer with an eye for a story here is the incisive the charming, a true historical performer here is Saul.
So thank you very much indeed for talking with me today.
Thanks Dan, Delighted to be on.
So why the SBS Why did you suddenly a light on this wonderful topic.
Very peculiar circumstances, I noticed that some of the big breaks in my life in terms of subject matter. The odd TV documentary have come about due to someone else’s misfortune. I shouldn’t really be chuckling, a wonderful character, and former SBS man, Paddy Ashdown had been working on this project. And the fact that he is former SBS himself he’d served in the 60s is relevant, because the SBS are very secretive organisation much more secretive than the better known SAS, the SBS, of course, being the sort of maritime equivalent, and they had authorised that book that Patty was going to write, and tragically, he died in in midstream. So the question was, who’s going to take it on? And it was, I suppose that was in the very fortunate position of not only being agented by the same person as Paddy, but also in the same publishing house. And I think they felt that I might be an obvious choice and a relatively safe pair of hands. But it wasn’t that quite that simple. Because I then had to go on a rather lengthy vetting process with the special boat service itself, which is rather trickier. But I got there,
They don’t they don’t let anyone write about their history is that the problem?
It is the problem, I think, you know, I would definitely there was a feeling I think, among the service, and among the association, which of course looks after its heritage, that now was probably the time to change, but they want you to do it in a in a safe way. And they wanted to, as I say it to be done by safe pair of hands. And of course, an insider like Paddy who’d written about some of the operations already. Probably the best known one is operation Frankton, that’s the Bordeaux operation was, their first choice, but Paddy no longer available, but they still wanted the project done. I think generally speaking, the SBS feel that they’re very proud of their history, but they’re also wary that if books like this are written, this may trigger a kind of cascade of former operators writing their own thing. So they’ve always been very wary too wary in my view, and the MOD too, won’t let anyone officially write about special forces operations after 1948, Which is pretty ridiculous, in my view, I mean, even some of the even some of the secret services have been allowing material later than that. So it seems unduly cautious in my view, but that’s their position.
Yeah, I was surprised they didn’t make you join. You’d be one of them.
They sort of did in the sense that I mean, certainly I was, I was taken down to Poole or invited a Poole a couple of times. On one particular occasion, they got me in the water. I went out in what is the equivalent of a full boat or a canoe. So they were very much trying to give me a kind of window into how they work. Actually what was very useful for me to get a sense of the ethos and how the ethos still remains to this day. It’s right under the radar, their missions are have a purpose, of course, but they’re not to go in and kill and cause mayhem, they’re usually to go in and surgically take out a target. And hopefully with all the operators getting away afterwards, so they operate in a very different way to the SAS. and always did even from these early years in the Second World War.
It’s interesting, you were saying that, you know, it’s important getting their backing. And that’s not a matter of principle, because they, they literally guard their own archives. So it’s not as if you could have written the book anyway.
Yeah, that’s right. And I think there are two important things. I mean, the archive was crucial, of course, for obvious reasons, but in some ways, there wasn’t as much material in the archive as I was hoping for. But nevertheless, there was enough crucial material. But more importantly than that, I think, to get a proper understanding of the organisation, which is, you know, as we both know, very shadowy, very sort of closely guarded, it meant that it was important that they open their doors, of course, to write an authorised book brings its own problems, because you feel as a historian co opted to a certain extent, I mean, it’s not an official history. But authorised does mean that you’re, you’ve been welcomed into the fold to a certain extent. And I think even if it’s unconsciously you feel a kind of, you know, a need to do you know, to do good by that organisation. And you have to be wary about that sort of unconscious bias, as we might call it.
Yeah, very tricky. Did you get to interview people and talk to people as well as read read documents?
I did. But sadly, there was only one single, he died very recently, one single member of the of the wartime SS still alive when I started working on this in 2019. And that was a man called Jim Booth, who took part in one of the most extraordinary operations of the war. And that’s operation Gambit, which was the D-Day midget submarine mission. You know, he is and what is even more amazing, not only, of course, that I have a chance to speak to Jim, he was 99 at the time and eventually got to its 100th birthday. And then he died in 2022. But also, he provided me with a little bit of footage of the midget submarine operation, which, as far as I’m concerned, is the only piece of footage of special forces in the Second World War. And it’s extraordinary. It’s as the submarine is coming back from the beaches, where it’s played an absolutely vital role in marking sword beach, and it’s going back to the command ship and you can see Jim Booth and this piece of footage standing on the top of this tiny submarine. I mean, it’s a remarkable piece of of Second World War footage, as I say,
It’s actually an interesting place to start with D-Day. Let’s do that. What do you mean by marking Sword Beach? Why was the SBS important on D-Day?
I think this is one of the great unknown stories of the Second World War, it’s not gonna never been written about before, Sam. But as you know, a lot of history falls through the cracks, not because it’s not included in some obscure book somewhere, but because it hasn’t really entered the public consciousness. And I think the role of the SBS on D Day was absolutely vital they do, they do three things really, that there are no worthy first of all, they carry out the beach reconnaissance prior to D Day, which is absolutely vital to getting all that information about the sort of type of sand whether it can bear tanks and wheeled vehicles, but also the gradients coming up to the beach. I mean, when you’re going to carry out an amphibious operation, you need all this vital hydrographical information. You also need information about the the defences on a beach and the exits from the beach. And the SBS carry out all these vital reconnaissance missions by swimming to shore, incredibly dangerous operations. Some of the swimming was done from midget submarines and some from surface craft. And they brought back this cornucopia of information which enabled the planners and we’re talking six months before D DAY to put in place, you know, and to refine their plans. And one really key bit of the story is that when they discovered the strength of the Defences on Omaha Beach, and this was in January 1944. It encouraged the Allied high command to increase the number of landing beaches from three to five. I mean, it’s a well known story that they were originally just three, and people like Montgomery, were pushing to increase the numbers but the key bit of information came from the SBS and they said to the Americans, look, it’s gonna be a really tough nut to crack. So from that point onward, the Americans went from one beach which was Omaha to two, with Utah.
So a fairly sophisticated operation here at the end of the war. Let’s rewind and go back to the beginning and look at the origins of the SBS. Where did it come from?
Well, it came from this amazing character called Roger Courtney, who, you know, have really been a kind of adventurer he wasn’t a soldier wasn’t a military man have totally done a bit of TA work. I keep being a part time soldier in the early 1920s. But it always wanted to go to Africa. And he gave up his job working as in a bank in Leeds, and he headed off to Africa with 50 pounds in his pocket, which was not nothing but you know, eventually it was going to run out. And he spent the next 20 years effectively as as an exclusive gold prospector. And here’s the really key bit he as an adventurer, and as an explorer, he decided to paddle in a folding canoe known as a folboat, which he bought from Selfridge’s. You couldn’t make it up, down the White Nile River alone. You know, so many moments during which he later wrote about actually in a book that was quite a successful book. And but what this enabled him to realise is that a folboat, a canoe, in effect, was a perfect means of insertion for silence insertion at night for enemy shorelines. I mean, he could see the and also became expert in its use for that when he joined the commandos in 1940. At the outset of the war, he quickly suggested the command is of course was set up by Churchill an as a raiding force for enemy coastlines. But Courtney refine that further by saying, Look, if we if we create a new unit as part of the commander’s initially, which uses canoes as a form of insertion, we can do what the commanders aren’t intending to do, they’re gonna get a lot of them are gonna go in, there’s going to be a lot of bang, bang and explosions that we can go in silently and we can carry out missions that they would never be able to dream of. And we can do it and get away without the enemy knowing we’ve been there and the Navy aren’t entirely convinced about this. They were in charge of training up in Inveraray in Scotland, so they set him a test can he actually approach a command ship one of the one of the one of the assault ships, even though the the sentries are looking out for him and effectively blow up the ship by making chalk on the outside of the hull where the limpet mines would be and even get on board and take away a gun cover to prove been there. And that’s exactly what he did. And they were Wow. They thought for goodness sake, you know, the guys are all ready for you and they didn’t notice you coming, you got on board and all of a sudden they could see the stealth that was possible by using canoes. There are drawbacks with canoes across sandwiches. In high seas, you know, when you’re operating in the sea, as soon as the wind gets up about four knots, and the waters get choppy, they can be very unstable and quite dangerous, frankly. But nevertheless, properly trained, they began to see the possibility. So they allowed him to set up what was known as was known as small bots troupe just 12 strong to begin with, and this eventually becomes the special bonus section. And then it develops in lots of different ways in lots of different tentacles. One of the tricky things about the book actually was trying to make sense of all the difference and interlocking bits of the story because it’s not just Courtney and his SBS. There’s also something called COP combined operations pilotage parties set up by a guy who was a close colleague of Courtney’s a man called Lieutenant Commander Wilmot to another the big heroes of the story. And there was also the third strand, which was the RMBPD the so called cockle shell heroes, and that was set up by Blondie Hasler. So you’ve got these three big giants of the story, Courtney.
That’s the Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment,
Exactly, you’ve got, you’ve got to have a stomach for acronyms, and you’re working on the special forces in the Second World War. And a lot of the acronyms of course, including when you’ve just you’ve just mentioned RMBPD were used to put the enemy of what the real intention of these units was. They were never, you know, specific to their tasks, but they were kind of alluded to, they were the attempt was made to make them seem far more benign and incompetent than they actually were
So there was such a wonderful story, but my favourite bit about that was Selfridge’s, and it makes me wonder, whatever they’d like that. What do you reckon there was a? Well, I think there are three options. One is that there was a folding canoe department to that there was some kind of implausible adventuring department or maybe even specifically a White Nile department. Well, what’s going on there?
Well, definitely, I think the sporting department I think what the point to make about the folding boats is of course they were actually used as as we were discussing for serious military purposes in the Second World War, but they were very popular among canoe clubs basically, particularly in Germany actually, but also these again, these began to gain some ground in the UK as well so Selfridge’s were was providing a kind of civilian sporting kit really. So it would have been their sporting department but but it is fascinating. It in the archives at Poole, in Dorset, the SBS archive, you can still see the original docket from the shop that, you know, he paid for. And I think it was something like 22 pounds, which is not an inconsiderable amount, actually.
Yeah, it just makes me think of people wandering around Oxford Street with loads of weird stuff coming out of Selfridge’s.. Anyway, it does lead us on to a kind of a more broad question about about the kit, kind of specialised kit that they use. You mentioned limpet mines, so we’ve got, you know, folding kayaks limpet mines, what else was involved?
Well, I mean, the first most important point to make is that at the beginning, there was no specialised kit. There was no folding boat, but it was later developed, in particular, by Hasler and they turned it into something really quite sophisticated, you might recognise I suppose, a modern kayak or canoe out which you know, the kind of splash deck and forms of stabilisation which made these boats a little bit more stable in choppy waters. But at the other crucial things that the SBS needed, of course, were particularly when they got in the water. So in a nutshell, a lot of the missions would be carried out particularly reconnaissance missions by two guys, so it’d be a two man canoe, one guy would stay in the canoe while the operation was carried out, and the other guy would get into the water and swim ashore now, you know, eventually they got wet suits, which were reasonably effective, but it took time to develop them. So on one of the first missions, which was carried out by Courtney and Wilmot, a very dangerous reconnaissance mission in the Mediterranean. Now you might think great, the Mediterranean, the sea would have been quite warm. But of course, the time of the year it took place, which was March 1941, it was absolutely freezing. And at that stage they had, they were just making things up as they went along. So instead of a wetsuit, which didn’t exist at that time, they were just wearing woolly underwear, basically lined with some kind of grease to try and keep out the cold. And the end result of all of that, of course, is even though Wilmot was an excellent swimmer, Courtney, not so much, Courtney almost drowned on that operation because he gets so cold, and he can hardly, you know, find his way back to the canoe. So they were really making things up as they went along. And slowly but surely, the equipment got more sophisticated as the war went on. But in the early years 1940, 1941, 1942 It’s incredibly dangerous to carry out these missions, because their kit was so threadbare.
Fascinating stuff. Let’s talk about a couple of those early operations, follow the history through Rhodes, why was Rhodes important,
Rhodes was really the testing ground of whether or not you could use canoes. To get the sort of information I’ve been talking about this, this beach reconnaissance information. Courtney of course, had already set up the folboat troop. And he’d gone out with the rest of the commandos in early 1941. To the Mediterranean. And while he was there, he met Wilmont, who completely separately had come up with the idea of beach reconnaissance. Now, Courtney’s idea was we’re going to do sabotage, we’re going to insert enemy agents, there’s gonna be a lot of other stuff that we can carry out. But Wilmont all along was absolutely convinced partly because he was the nephew of a man who had taken place in the Gallipoli landings. These sorts of amphibious operations would be disastrous, unless you had proper information and the way to get that was actually sending guys in. So he knew what he wanted to get. But he didn’t know he didn’t have a method of insertion. And so meeting Courtney was incredibly fortuitous, because Courtney told him about the canoes, and he thinks great, we’ll be transported in submarines as far as the beaches and then we can paddle in. In the canoes. It all sounds straightforward, but if you consider it was taking place, the Rhodes reconnaissance, which of course was Axis held at the time, and there were there were plans in place to capture Rhodes by amphibious assault, it never actually took place because of the Greek debacle about a few months later. But that’s not the point, the point of the reconnaissance is, can we actually show we can get the information that is going to be needed for these types of operations. So the two of them carry out the operation. And if you think about it, you’ve got these two giants to the story who almost come a cropper, they almost get bounced by sentries. At one point. I’ve already mentioned the fact that Courtney almost dies of the cold and it was incredibly dangerous for these two men to carry out this operation with inadequate kits, attempting to home to a submarine in the dark. In freezing temperatures, I mean, a lot could have gone wrong, a little almost did go wrong. And yet over the course of four nights, they managed to penetrate the Italian defences at Rhodes, and bring back an astonishing amount of information. You can still see the report which is actually in the National Archives. It’s been released in the National Archives today, and it gives you the you know, the kind of sense of drama that that mission was, but it also convinces everyone in the Middle East at In particular in Cairo HQ in the Middle East that actually this is a runner these guys can really do what what they say they can do so it was proof of concept I suppose you would say Sam and in that sense it was absolutely vital because once this mission had been carried out the two guys go their separate ways. One was eventually going to found COP, which I mentioned before and of course Courtney is going to carry on developing the SBS. They have proven to the higher ups that it really can be done.
Yeah, and so strategically important, I mean, the Italians are using this island to attack allied shipping, lay mines you know, it’s crucial to everything that goes on and let’s move on to 42 There are a couple of really interesting operations in 1942 Boulogne is one, I like the fascinating story.
I mean the Boulogne one as really again like a lot of these stories I don’t quite know why but it’s also slipped through the cracks. It’s an astonishing operation because the channel ports as the Approve were probably some of the most heavily guarded installations in Europe at that time. Inside Boulogne Harbour was a tanker filled with copper ore that the British had decided they needed a knock out, because he wrote, these are vital resources for Germany, and the SBS decides to do the mission, A guy called Gerald Montanaro, who for a brief time was second in command of the SBS ,very ambitious man, former civil engineer who is an explosive expert, but he also is absolutely determined to get to the top of the Special Forces tree. His way is ultimately barred, of course by Courtney, who’s got their first but Mantanaro’s finest hour is this mission at Boulogne where he volunteers with his paddler, and man called Preece. Together, the two of them are going to carry out the mission. Now the difficulty you’ve got in the channel as opposed to the Mediterranean for these secret night missions, is that you can’t get close to a shoreline with a typical submarine, which is what they used for the Rhodes reconnaissance. The weather conditions, and the and the coastline is too difficult to use a big submarine. So you have to use surface craft. The problem with surface craft is if it gets too close to the coastline, you can hear it. So basically, you have to paddle a lot further than you would if you’d come in in a submarine. And this is where the trouble starts with the Boulogne operation because they dropped off three miles from the shoreline. And by the time they get to Boulogne harbour, they’re utterly exhausted. They then have to get past the fort at the entrance to the harbour where a party is going on. And they’re basically paddling almost completely lying flat in the canoe and a beer bottle narrowly misses the boat. That’s how close they came to this German installation. And then real disaster happens because the folboat is snagged on a rock and it starts leaking. Now this is this is not a race against time. Montanaro has to make a decision. What’s he going to do is he gonna abort the mission, which frankly would have been the sensible thing to do. No, this was his one chance so he tells Preece to plug the hole with his cap comforter, to the sort of woolly commando hat these guys wear. Then he breaks the time fuses on the limpet mines which means there’s no going back now they’re going to explode within a few hours and they carry out the mission. Put eight limpet mines onto this tanker one falls off, but seven are inserted correctly. Then they’ve got to home back to the surface craft, which has been told to leave on the dot. If they get any later than that, you know, they’re going to be abandoned. Well they’re an hour late, and as they’re approaching the rendezvous point, which by the way, they’ve only got to because of Montanaro’s brilliant navigation. I mean in choppy seas at night. I mean it’s an amazing feat of seamanship, but it’s also an extraordinary act of endurance. By the time they get to the rendezvous point, the canoe is half full of water, and it would probably have sunk, they estimate in another 10 minutes, and they’re in the middle of the channel at this point. So that would have been a death sentence. But incredibly, fortuitously, the landing craft has stayed longer than it should have done against its orders, and they’re picked up they’re so exhausted, they can’t actually get out of the canoe. They’re so cold, they have to be lifted out by a winch, but it was an astonishing little operation which succeeded. The tanker explodes and it sinks to the bottom of Boulogne Harbour, loosing a lot of It’s vital, kit on board, loosing a lot of its copper ore. The two guys are rewarded with a DSO and DCM respectively and there’s a lovely little entry in Montanaro’s, went on this mission, almost sank, but managed to pull it off, a damn good show. You know, it was just so British and understated.
Yeah, I mean, extraordinary seeing their faces when they realised that they’d hung around, and then they’d managed to pick them up. That must have been wonderful. So we’ve spoken about Rhodes in the Mediterranean, we’ve spoken about the channel and Boulogne, let’s talk about, you know, the final big theatre we haven’t really mentioned and what was going on in Sumatra?
The lovely thing about the story is that you might imagine because it’s special boat service, or special boat section, as it was knowe at the time. And you know, they were operating out of the Mediterranean and then the UK. But it was really just the European theatre of operations. In actual fact, in 1944, Mountbatten, who’s now been appointed commander in the Far East, but has always been a big fan of these maritime operations. He had of course been chief of combined operations under which some of these operations were carried out. He sets up a new group in the Far East called the small operations group, and it’s based in Cylon and it carries out a number of different missions all over the Far East. Some wonderful stories that my favourite is the Sumatra mission, they’re given the job of blowing up the Pendada Bridge. This is Japanese held, it’s a sort of bipolar arterial route. It’s a road and rail bridge over the Pendada River in northern Sumatra. And this again, is going to be a preparatory to a landing on Sumatra. Landings In this case, of course, never takes place. But that was the intention. And so a team of SBS, four pairs of canoes in this particular instance, to take them across the Bay of Bengal, this incredibly long and uncomfortable journey. And I should just mention Sam, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a submarine. But second world war submarines were incredibly inhospitable places to operate from, particularly your SBS, because you weren’t really a specialist submariner, you were just being transported and utterly terrifying when you were being depth charged, Incredibly uncomfortable, difficult journeys they had to undertake. And this was a very long one. Anyway, they close in on the on the location, and they get to the right place, and they’re dropped off, four teams of canoeists. The first night’s attempt is an absolute disaster, they basically an error is made in the navigation, they get to the wrong point, they got the wrong side of the estuary, heading up towards the bridge. And it’s impossible. And eventually they have to call the mission off, and they head back to the submarine which is again, always done at night homing to a submarine very difficult and dangerous operation to do with no tangible results. They are convinced, not only is this embarrassing humiliation, but they’re convinced that that’s it, that’s the end of the mission, you can only try it once. Actually they realise that, or at least they make a calculation that the Japanese almost certainly didn’t spot them that first night, and maybe none of the locals did either, and they can give it another go. Now the second nights operation goes is much more effective. And it’s led really by I think the hero of the story, a man called Lieutenant Wesley, the second in command, but he convinces his boss, Major Sidders that he really needs to take the lead in terms of navigation, he does get them to the right place, they managed to get all the way to the bridge with 400 pounds of explosives, having narrowly avoided detection by a Japanese cycling patrol, They get to the bridge and they’re putting all the plastic explosives onto the bridge in various key parts of the bridge when they’re spotted by some locals who just appear this is the middle of the night remember. Where these guys come from no one quite knows. But they’ve corralled under under gunpoint just in case, one of them decides to run of and tell the Japanese. Once they put all the all the explosives on the bridge and the time pencils are set, they head back down to the beach, of course to get back to the canoes. And the idea is, you know, obviously they’re going home to the submarine but they still got the locals with them because again, they don’t want them to tell the Japanese and when they get to the beach Sidders remembers that he’d been given this instruction if you find that you know there are any locals there who you might think can provide vital information, bring them back with you. Now exactly how they were gonna do that. It’s not entirely clear because there’s only room for eight people in these canoes but anyway, they decided they’re going to take one of them back so maybe they’re going to do two trips in a folboat. So they select a young guy who at once he realises what’s about to happen, has absolutely no intention of going and struggles wildly. Wesely’s given the job of subduing him. First of all, he tried to punch him, just knock him out. That doesn’t work. Then he hits him with his revolver, that doesn’t work. Eventually he tries to, as he puts it in his diary, drag some of the life out of him in a kind of ridiculous wrestling match in the sea, which comes to a conclusion when the Indonesian bites Wesley’s hands and forces him to let go of him. And it’s at this point that Wesley realised that this is absolute madness, we’ve got to let this go. He pats this guy on the back, as he puts it, you know, a poor compensation for all the hardship we put him through, they let him go, they get into the canoes, head back to the submarine. As they’re nearing the submarine, they almost missed it actually, it almost turns into a disaster. They see this kind of red glow on the horizon, and the bridge goes up. So there’s a happy ending to the story. One of the codicil’s to all of that. You know, I’ve noticed with special forces operations, that really sparing giving out the sort of awards that you might think would be justified. And in this particular case, this extraordinary mission, a single Military Cross is handed out, who does it go to, not to Wesley, not to any of the men who really carried out the key roles in this, but Major Sidders, who clearly is the man who’s put the report in in the first place,
A great story and a brilliant place to end. So thank you very much indeed for sharing so much great history.
Thank you all so much for listening. Now, please don’t leave your interaction with a brilliant podcast here. There is so much more you can do. Firstly, please check out the Mariners Mirror podcasts YouTube channel, where you will find a library of the most extraordinarily innovative videos showcasing the maritime past in entirely new ways. If you are interested in the Second World War, as we were talking about today, please check out our 3D animation of one of the Japanese aircraft carriers that took part in the attack on Pearl Harbour and our video showing the scan of a wrecked midget submarine on the shore of Aberlady Bay in Scotland. In the audio podcasts back catalogue, make sure you listen to our episode on the shifting balance of naval power during the war with Paul Kennedy. We have an episode on the evacuation of Dunkirk and one on the U boat war. And in fact, there is so many more I haven’t even mentioned. This podcast comes from both the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the Society for Nautical Research. Please check out what both institutions are up to you can find the SNR at snr.org.uk where you can join up and please do so every single new member makes a difference. It’s a wonderful chance to make new friends and to learn about the maritime past from the world’s best, and the history and education centre of the Lloyd’s Register foundation you can find at hec.lr foundation.org.uk. And be sure to check out their brilliant new project filming the world’s best ship models with the latest camera equipment to find it just Google maritime innovation in miniature
- Age of Sail
- Air Power
- Special Forces
- Cold War
- Iconic Ships
- Clipper Ships
- Amphibious Operations
- Ocean Liners
- Historic Ships
- World War 2
- Maritime Art
- World War 1
- Ancient History
- 20th Century
- Ship Models
- Women in Maritime History
- Maritime Disasters
- Maritime Myths and Legends
- Great Sea Fights
- Maritime Innovation
- Middle Ages