Secret Operation by Robert Taylor.
Submariners are a special breed of sailor. Their environment, operating deep beneath the surface of the waves, is both unnatural and dangerous, and demands men of cool courage and exceptional quality. Prowling the depths like a mammoth shark, sometimes hunted, submarine crews live and fight, and sometimes die together, alone in the remote expanses of the worlds great oceans. Regardless of national flag under which they sail, this small elite Silent Service is both feared and admired by all who sail the seas. Plying their deadly trade in World War Two, the German U-boats posed such threat to the vital Atlantic convoys; Winston Churchill feared the submarine threat more than anything Hitler had at his disposal. Hunting in wolf packs, roaming the shipping lanes far beyond the reach of protective aircraft, they decimated the Allied merchant vessels during the Battle of the Atlantic. Manned entirely by volunteers, British and American submarines saw action in every maritime theatre during the great conflict of 1939 - 1945, the crews fighting their solitary, stealthy, secret war with courage and nerves of steel. This print captures the menacing beauty of a submarine on the surface: S-Class type HMS Sceptre slips her moorings in Scapa Flow, Scotland, and glides quietly into the North Sea to begin another top secret underwater operation. On the conning tower the skipper takes a final look across the water to the distant highlands while the crew savour the fresh salt air knowing soon they will submerge into their eerie, silent, artificial world, beneath the waves.
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|Item Code : DHM2150||Secret Operation by Robert Taylor. - This Edition|
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|PRINT|| Signed limited edition of 700 prints. |
Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
| Image size 13.5 inches x 10 inches (34cm x 25cm)|| McGeoch, Ian |
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Signature(s) value alone : £180
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|Commander Edward Young DSO, DSC*, RNV (S) R (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £50
|Edward Young was born in 1913 and, after leaving Highgate School, joined The Bodley Head as an office boy. Edward Young worked for Penguin for the Reprint Society in 1939. As a keen yachtsman and maritime student in civilian life, he qualified for direct entry into the RNVR as a sub-lieutenant at the outbreak of war and, having volunteered for submarines, went on his first patrol in the ancient submarine H28 in October 1940. Serving next in the brand new Umpire in July 1941, he was below in the wardroom when she was accidentally rammed and sunk, while on the surface at night, by a trawler which was escorting a convoy. Rapid flooding caused Umpire to hit the bottom at 80 feet, Young and three others making an extemporised escape without breathing apparatus using the top and bottom hatches of the conning tower trunk as an air lock. The CO and 14 men were saved, but 22 were drowned in this disaster. As torpedo officer of the Sealion, Young operated from Murmansk for a few months until appointed second-in-command of the newly built Saracen, commanded by the distinguished Lieutenant Michael Lumby. This submarine was at sea, working up the skills of an inexperienced crew in the North Atlantic off the Faeroes when a U-boat was sighted making her way to the Atlantic. A snap attack sank her and the one survivor was made prisoner. Young was awarded a mention in dispatches. Saracen was subsequently ordered to the beleaguered island fortress of Malta to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla - the famous Fighting Tenth - whose base was under constant air attack from enemy aircraft flying from nearby Sicily. Young’s efficiency and coolness were rewarded by the DSC when Saracen sank the Italian submarine Granito off Sicily in November 1942. In January 1943 he was selected for the CO’s qualifying course — known as the perisher probably from its original title, the Periscope School, coupled with its strict attitude to standards - which he passed successfully. He cut his teeth commanding the P555 - an ex-American submarine, used mainly for training anti-submarine forces. Then, in June 1943, he was appointed to command the new submarine Storm then building at Cammell Laird’s at Birkenhead. The celebrated Admiral Sir Max Horton, C-in-C Western Approaches, came down to see him off to his first patrol. Storm’s first patrol north of the Arctic Circle was uneventful. By January 1944 the Allies had established a strategic mastery of the Mediterranean and the operational focus shifted to the war against Japan. Storm, with others and her depot ship, moved to Ceylon and started operations in the narrow Malacca Strait. Sighting a Japanese submarine on his first patrol, Young was disappointed to be unable to close sufficiently to attack. Thereafter his luck - and skill - improved and he was awarded a Bar to his DSC for the results of four war patrols with the Far Eastern Fleet. In April he sank a minesweeper and subsequently several other vessels in support of the overall campaign to deny the Japanese any use of the sea for military purposes. A particularly hair-raising cloak-and-dagger action involved the landing of an agent by rubber boat on Pulau Weh island on the northwest tip of Sumatra. When the submarine approached to recover the agent four days later, the prearranged Morse code signal by light, although correct, was late and was being transmitted from the wrong place. Young and the Special Forces major in charge of the shore aspect of the operation noted a smell of treachery in the air. But the major and a leading seaman detailed off to assist him bravely paddled inshore and shouted in the darkness to the agent whose replies suggested that he was under some duress. By now highly suspicious, they abandoned all thoughts of trying to retrieve the agent and paddled frantically back to the submarine. By now the whole shore had come alive with flashes and detonations as four machineguns and a four-inch emplacement gun opened fire on Storm, which replied with a couple of rounds from her own gun for good measure. Miraculously neither the major, the seaman nor Storm’s gun crew were hit in the fusillade of machinegun rounds which were ricocheting off the water and the submarine’s conning tower - mercifully the emplacement gun had not yet found the range. After a tense interval, both men were hauled back aboard the submarine and Young was able to withdraw with only one man wounded, giving the order to dive, as four-inch shells from the gun onshore screamed overhead. In July, while on a roving commission to look for trouble in the islands of the Mergui Archipelago off the coast of Burma, Storm entered Port Owen on the surface in a rainstorm and sank two patrol vessels, various coasters and a small merchant ship by gunfire. But by September 1944 British submarines were beginning to run out of suitable targets and a move was negotiated further east into the American area of operations where the much larger and better equipped US submarines had been hugely successful. Nevertheless, the Americans were genuinely grateful for the help from the smaller British submarines in shallow water. Storm, based at Fremantle, Western Australia, carried out two further successful war patrols, sinking numerous schooners running the nickel-ore trade and making a devastating attack on a convoy in the Mergui Archipelago, firing 150 rounds of ammunition until her gun jammed with the heat. Young was awarded the DSO for these patrols, the last of which racked up a record distance run, for Storm, of 7,151 miles. By early in the new year it was time to go home, and on April 8, 1945, Storm reached Portsmouth after ten-week voyage, via Sumatra, Ceylon, Aden, Port Said and Gibraltar. Since leaving the Cammell Laird yard 18 months before, she had sailed 71,000 miles and spent the equivalent of 60 days and nights under water. She was destined for passage to America for a refit, but Young, promoted to acting commander, was posted to a staff appointment. He was released from naval service in November 1945. After the war he returned to publishing and worked for the Reprint Society and Pan Books. He then joined the new firm of Rupert Hart-Davis as director of production. It was this firm that in 1952 published One of Our Submarines, which was written at the instigation of Admiral Sir George Creasy, who had commanded the submarine branch of the Royal Navy from September 1944 to October 1946. Commander Edward Young, DSO, DSC and Bar, died on January 28, 2003, aged 89.|
Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh KBE, CB, DSO, DSC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50
|Ian Stewart McIntosh was born in Melbourne on October 11th 1919, and educated at Geelong Grammar School. lan Mclntosh volunteered for the navy in his native Australia in 1938 aged 18. McIntosh joined the submarine training course at HMS Dolphin on 30th December 1940. He was awarded the King's Dirk for graduating top of his class at Dartmouth and elected to qualify as a submariner in late 1940. On joining his first submarine, Porpoise, in 1941, at the time undertaking mine laying operations in home waters, McIntosh insisted that the Chief Engineroom Artificer show him the purpose of all the machinery, valves and pipes. But he was reticent about where he had been since completing his submarine training six months. On March 25th, 1941 Ian McIntosh was on board the Anchor Line steamship Britannia some 500 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone, when the Britannia was attacked by the German commerce raider Thor. Thor, a motor ship capable of about 18 knots and armed with four 5.9in guns, had already sunk ten merchant ships when she attacked the Britannia. Britannia's single 4in gun was soon knocked out. On fire and sinking, she was abandoned. Early damage to her radio aerial meant that no distress message had been sent. Mclntosh found himself in lifeboat No 7, which was in great danger of being caught under Britannia's counter. The merchant navy officer in charge, Third Officer William MacVicar, recorded that it was entirely due to the skill of Sub-Lieutenant Mclntosh that this lifeboat was kept afloat and survivors were able to embark. Its Board of Trade capacity was given as 58, but 82 were crammed on board. This meant that only two oars could be used, Mclntosh and a naval rating getting the boat clear of the burning ship. For the next day the lifeboat rode to a sea anchor in a Force 5 NE trade wind, the choppy sea requiring energetic baling. On the second day Mclntosh located three holes behind the ballast tanks caused by German gunfire, the leaks from which would eventually have been fatal as the survivors grew weaker and unable to bale out such an inflow. By dint of leaning over the gunwhale, often with head and shoulders under water, he was able to plug them with pieces of blanket and then nail pieces of tobacco tin over them, causing himself extreme fatigue and illness. An attempt was made to sail east towards the African coast, but this was abandoned after 24 hours as the boat was too overburdened to make progress upwind and had probably only moved 20 miles due south. The decision was made to run before the wind and make for Brazil judged to be about 1,300 miles distant. The boat's 16 gallons of water in sealed containers and the supply of biscuits and condensed milk were clearly insufficient despite rigorous rationing. On the fourth day several of the men fainted. The crew became quarrelsome and the chief cook, who had drunk sea-water, threw himself overboard. The heat was terrific and all were getting sea-water boils and sores. When rain came their first efforts to save some water were unsuccessful, but on the sixteenth day a violent storm and heavy rain made frantic baling necessary and eased the water rationing, deaths having diminished the number needing it. After 23 days, they made a landing without mishap on the island of Curupu on northern Brazil and were succoured by fishermen. Forty-four had died. Both MacVicar and McIntosh were appointed MBE for their gallant conduct. McIntosh returned to England for three months recuperation and then was appointed to the 3rd submarine flotilla at Holy Loch and subsequently, in March 1942, to the submarine Thrasher based at Alexandria. In early July Thrasher was one of only three submarines at sea. Returning to Alexandria, she was attacked by British aircraft and put into dock for a month. Mclntosh left Thrasher at the end of September and returned home to qualify as a submarine commanding officer. His first command was the obsolescent H44, used for anti-submarine training. at Rothesay, working from HMS Cyclops (7th Submarine Flotilla) before taking command of the operational boat HMS Sceptre on 18th February 1943, working from HMS Forth at Holy Loch (3rd Submarine Flotilla). He was awarded a mention in dispatches for his part in Operation Source, the midget submarine attack on the German heavy warships Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Lutzow in the Altenfjord on the Norwegian coast. In March 1943 Mclntosh was credited with sinking four escorted merchant ships off the coast of Norway. The following May, McIntosh sank the blockade-runner Baldur in Spanish territorial waters, which resulted in a minor diplomatic incident but ended Spain's wartime trade in iron ore with Germany. On night surface patrol off Norway, he sighted three ships and three escorts, and immediately fired four torpedoes which struck their targets; one ship exploded and another burst into flames before disappearing. Under McIntosh's command Sceptre became one of the most successful of the S-class boats in home waters, sinking almost 15,000 tons of enemy shipping; he was twice mentioned in dispatches for courage and devotion to duty, and was awarded the DSO in 1944. After the war he commanded the sub-marine Alderney with distinction, and then served two years with the Australian Navy. In 1950 he was appointed to the responsible post of teacher to the submarine commanding officers' qualifying course, after which he commanded the submarine Aeneas. Promoted to commander in 1952 and captain in 1959, his career included some very satisfying mainstream jobs — second in command of the large aircraft carrier Ark Royal, command of the 2nd Submarine Squadron and command of the aircraft carrier Victorious for two years from 1966. Mclntosh was promoted to rear admiral in 1968 and appointed Director-General (Weapons) at Bath, managing the naval weapon development programmes. This experience was valuable to his final appointment as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Operational Requirements) in the rank of vice admiral, He was appointed CB in 1970 and KBE in 1973 when he retired from the Royal Navy. He died on July 31st, 2003, aged 83.|
Vice-Admiral Sir lan McGeoch KCB DSO DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40
|Ian McGeoch was born in Helensburgh on 26th March 1914 and was educated at Pangbourne Nautical College, and in 1931 joined the Royal Navy as a special entry cadet. From 1933, Megeoch served as a midshipman on the HMS Royal Oak in 1933 then on the destroyer HMS Boadicea before moving on to the cruiser HMS Devonshire. McGeoch volunteered to serve on submarines and in 1936 attended the course at HMS Dolphin. Promoted to Lieutenant, McGeoch joined HMS Clyde at Malta. When war broke out he was in Malta but returned to England in Janaury 1940 serving as 1st lieutenant on the H Class H43, engaged in landing secret agents on Guernsey. In July 1940 he was appointed as second-in-command of the new submarine HMS Triumph, but was selected for the Commanding Offciers Qualifying Course before he saw active service. After passing, McGeoch returned to Malta's 10th Submarine Flotilla in May 1941, where he had the role of Spare CO on frequent call while other COs stood down for a few days rest. He took command of HMS Splendid and from November 1942 to May 1943 Splendid sank more tonnage on its six patrols than any other submarine. Lieutenant McGeoch was awarded the DSO after his fourth patrol, and the DSC after his fifth. Under McGeoch's command, Splendid sank the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser San Paolo, the Italian merchants Luigi Favorita, Devoli, and XXI Aprile, the small Italian merchant Commercio, the Italian auxiliary minesweeper No. 107 / Cleopatra, and the Italian tanker Giorgio. Splendid also sank the Italian Destroyer Aviere, escorting the German transport ship Ankara with her sister ship Camicia Nera - Splendid also attacked the Ankara, but missed her. Splendid also sank the Italian merchant Emma, despite her being heavily escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Groppo, Uragano and Clio. The German merchant Sienna (the former French Astrée) was missed in the same attack. Splendid also torpedoed and damaged the Italian destroyer Velite. Splendid left Malta for the last time on 17th April 1943. This was the submarine's sixth patrol and would take her to the waters off Naples and Corsica. While off Capril on 21st April 1943, HMS Splendid ran into the German destroyer Hermes. The submarine's periscope was spotted in the calm conditions and the German destroyer made three accurately-dropped patterns of depth charges which forced Splendid to the surface, where McGeoch ordered the crew to abandon ship and ordered the submarine to be scuttled. Five officers, including McGeoch, and 25 ratings were picked up; (18 men were lost with the ship) and taken prisoner. McGeoch suffered a wound to his right eye, and never recovered its sight. Later he managed to escape from prison camp and return to duty. He had a distinguished post-war career in the Navy including a period as Flag Officer Submarines. He was appointed CB in 1966 and advanced to KCB in 1969. He retired in 1970. Sadly at the age of 93 he died on the 12th of August 2007.|
|Vice-Admiral Sir Michael Lumby KCB, OBE, DSO, DSC (deceased)|
*Signature Value : £40
|Captain Michael Lumby, DSO, DSC Wartime Submarine Captain. Born 17th Sept 1917 - Died Dec 7th 2001 Aged 84. Submarine skipper who wreaked mayhem on axis shipping. From a Newspaper article sent in by Vic Buxton. Michael Lumby'S war service in command of the submarine Saracen was unusual in that he was one of very few submariners who sank two enemy submarines - in his case one German and one Italian. In the summer of 1942 Saracen was a new submarine and Lumby her first captain. She was working up in the waters northwest of Shetland on August 3 when Lumby sighted U335 on the surface. The U-Boat was making a passage from Kiel to her patrol area in the North Atlantic and did not spot the British submarine. An accurate torpedo attack by Saracen sank her. Lumby then looked for survivors, of whom there appeared to be three. One man raised his arm and then sank below the surface, the second was a corpse and the third, a signalman, was picked up. He said that the other two had been the Captain and a warrant officer. 41 other men went down with the boat. Lumby was awarded the DSC. On the way from Gibraltar to Malta in October of that year, Lumby had another chance against a German U-boat, but missed with his torpedoes. On November 5 Saracen was submerged on patrol in support of the Allied landings in North Africa - Operation Torch - when Lumby sighted the Italian submarine Granito and hit her with three of the four torpedoes fired. Granito sank with all hands. Between December 1942 and August 1943 Lumby and Saracen were extremely active In the central Mediterranean. The submarine sank cargo vessels and tankers, landed agents in Corsica and bombarded a shipbuilding yard at Cervo on the Italian Riviera. During the invasion of Sicily, Saracen and others provided a defensive patrol line and subsequently landed advance base parties in Sardinia. Saracen survived several counter-attacks during these patrols, the success of which earned Lumby the DSO and a mention in dispatches. The frequently calm and often glassily clear Mediterranean waters, the constant hostile air cover and increasing enemy tactical proficiency made for many British Submarine casualties in the theatre, and on August 14th 1943, Saracen's own luck ran out. Spotted by the Italian corvettes Minerva and Euterpe off Bastie, Corsica, she was depth charged to the surface, damaged beyond recovery. Lumby lost four of his men, the remainder being taken prisoners of war. Lumby was interned in a Marlag und Milag a camp for naval merchant marine personnel at Tarnstedt, near Bremen. In April 1945 the approach of British forces caused the authorities to try to march the naval and Royal Marines Marlag prisoners to an unknown destination. By cutting the wire and using various subterfuges, the Milag Merchant Navy prisoners hid the Marlag men creating what Lumby called the 'underground navy'. His memoir recalled that when the march party was paraded, there were more than a thousand men absent and discipline collapsed. The camp was next strafed in error by Allied aircraft, the first merciful action by British being the accidental 'liberation' of several pigs from nearby farms into the compound. Lumby was repatriated in May. The son of an Indian Army Officer, Michael Lumby was born at Simla, and went to Dartmouth, where he won the King's Dirk and the mathematic prize in 1934. Qualifying in submarines in 1938, he joined the Sturgeon and was awarded a mention in dispatches for his part in operations in the Heligoland Bight. He commanded the Submarines Tribune and L23 before being appointed to Saracen. His post-war appointments included the battleship Vanguard on the royal visit to South Africa in 1946, and a number of commands, including two further submarines and the cruisers Bermuda and Belfast. In 1958 he was sent to sort out the fleet minelayer after a notorious mutiny on board her. In 1962 he commanded the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Research Establishment at Portland and subsequently the depot ship Maidstone and the 3rd Submarine Squadron in Scotland. He was much admired for his gentle and thoughtful style of leadership, never needing to raise his voice. Retiring in 1966, he worked for the shipbuilders Scott Lithgow, trying with mixed success to sell submarines to the South American navies. When the Company was taken over by British Shipbuilders, he bought some farming land in Dorset and raised cattle and horses.|