Steve DunnMay 15, 2017
Securing the Narrow Sea
The Dover Patrol, 1914-1918
Seaforth/Naval Institute Press 2017
Most accounts about the naval battles of the First World War focus upon the stalemate between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet, or the German raiders who attempted to disrupt Allied commerce. In Securing the Narrow Sea: The Dover Patrol 1914-1918 (Seaforth Publishing, 2017; distributed in the US by Naval Institute Press), Steve Dunn focuses on the often overlooked service of the British naval forces stationed in the English Channel during the conflict. The eclectic collection of destroyers, converted yachts, and requisitioned trawlers that comprised the patrol made for a considerable contrast with the dreadnoughts at Scapa Flow, yet, as Dunn demonstrates, they played a vital role in securing the Channel for the safe transport of British troops to France and in opposing the transit of German U-boats to their stations. In describing the admirals who commanded the station over the course of the war, the lives of the men who served aboard the ships, and the various engagements which they fought against their German opponents, he explains the unglamorous yet frequently dangerous contribution the patrol made to Britain's victory over Germany in 1918, one that was subsequently glossed over in the postwar era.