The Eastern Fleet and the Indian Ocean, 1942–1944

The Fleet that Had to Hide

Charles Stephenson

The story of the British Eastern Fleet, which operated in the Indian Ocean against Japan, has rarely been told. Although it was the largest fleet deployed by the Royal Navy prior to 1945 and played a vital part in the theater it was sent to protect, it has no place in the popular consciousness of the naval history of the Second World War.
Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
30 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526797766

Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 336
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$28.95

Overview
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The story of the British Eastern Fleet, which operated in the Indian Ocean against Japan, has rarely been told. Although it was the largest fleet deployed by the Royal Navy prior to 1945 and played a vital part in the theater it was sent to protect, it has no place in the popular consciousness of the naval history of the Second World War. So Charles Stephenson’s deeply researched and absorbing narrative gives this forgotten fleet the recognition it deserves.

British prewar naval planning for the Far East is part of the story, as is the disastrous loss of the battleship Prince of Wales and battlecruiser Repulse in 1941, but the body of the book focuses on the new fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir James Somerville, and its operations against the Japanese navy and aircraft as well as Japanese and German submarines. Later in the war, once the fleet had been reinforced with an American aircraft carrier, it was strong enough to take more aggressive actions against the Japanese, and these are described in vivid detail.

Charles Stephenson’s authoritative study should appeal to readers who have a special interest in the war with Japan, in naval history more generally and Royal Navy in particular.

About The Author
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Charles Stephenson is an established author on naval and siege warfare and the history of fortifications, with the following books in print: The Fortifications of Malta 1530-1945, Zeppelins: German Airships 1900-40, The Channel Islands 1941-45: Hitler's Impregnable Fortress, The Admirals Secret Weapon: Lord Dundonald and the Origins of Chemical Warfare and Germanys Asia-Pacific Empire: Colonialism and Naval Policy, 1885-1914\. He was Consultant Editor and a contributor to Castles: A History of Fortified Structures: Ancient, Medieval & Modern. He is also the creator of the three books that (thus far) constitute the Samson Plews Collection.

REVIEWS
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"...[a]detailed and well-researched history..."

- Naval History

"The author succeeds in this well-researched and documented book to bring to light the British Eastern Fleet, which operated in the Indian Ocean until the strong British Pacific Fleet took the war to the Japanese home islands."

- Seapower

"The Eastern Fleet is relatively unknown today since the operations in the Indian Ocean receive little coverage beyond the loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse at the beginning of the war. This book addresses that imbalance with a thoroughly researched and detailed narrative. The author brings Eastern Fleet activities to the fore with good descriptions of its personalities, ships, and actions."

- WWII History Magazine

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