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Although it was first published in 1931, Endless Story remains the only comprehensive account of the services of the Navy’s small craft – destroyers, torpedo boats and patrol vessels – during the First World War, and moreover the only one written by an officer personally involved. Even if Dorling did not take part in all the actions he describes, he knew the men who did, and gleaned much of his information from personal contact. As a result the book has both authenticity and authority, but is composed with the all verve of the popular novelist that ‘Taffrail’ was to become. It was a bestseller in its day, and now enjoys the status of a classic.
The emphasis is on the North Sea and Channel, which saw the most famous battles, but Endless Story includes the Gallipoli campaign, warfare in the Mediterranean, ranges as far as the Pacific, where Australian destroyers were actively employed, and even pays tribute to the work of American destroyers in British waters after 1917. It also covers every kind of operation, from U-boat hunting and convoy escort, through minelaying to the Zeebrugge Raid.
This reprint will introduce one of the great books on First World War at sea to a new generation of readers.
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