the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Book Review; Ark Royal by Mike Rossiter

images-3World War II…check…navy…check…

Two of my favourite subjects come together in a book by a man who I have reviewed in the past. Rossiter wrote a great story on the recovery of a B29 bomber that had crashed in Greenland and here he was coming back looking for what is undoubtedly the greatest aircraft carrier known.

The book is in fact two stories nicely weaved into a seamless historical bio of both the ship during its battles in WWII, and Rossiter’s battles (some would say obsession) with locating the wreck in the western Mediterranean.

As it is a non-fictional piece of work there is no need to hold off from revealing the outcome, it is there in public domains for all to see for themselves; Ark Royal was the most modern carrier made (which ironically also doomed it), she fought with distinction on the Atlantic and Mediterranean, hunted down the likes of the Graf Spee, Admiral Hipper, and most famously Bismarck. She offered support and relief to the embattled armies fighting on Crete and Malta and against Rommel in North Africa, and despite high-ranking officials (including Churchill himself) survived many attempts at her destruction through lack of support and weaponry. Even the Nazi propaganda machine claimed her sunk on more than one occasion…

Mike Rossiter is owed a lot in locating and filming her hull 1000m below the surface, and thanks must also go to Paul Allen who at the time owned the largest luxury yacht in the world and loaned it for the expedition.

A book that suits war buffs and civvies alike, the book is not full of too much jargon and worded well to tell a story…


HMS Ark Royal in her death throes...

HMS Ark Royal in her death throes…

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