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The Royal Navy’s Mystery Submarine
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781848321618
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Era: 20th Century
  • Number of Pages: 192
  • Subject: Submarines
  • Date Available: January 2013
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Full Description:

The ‘X’ stood for experimental, but it might equally have meant extraordinary, exotic or extravagant, as this giant submarine attracted superlatives—the world’s largest, most heavily armed, and deepest diving submersible of the day. X.1 was a controversial project conceived behind the backs of politicians, and would remain an unwanted stepchild. This book explores the historical background of submarine cruisers, the personalities involved in X.1’s design and service, the spy drama surrounding her launch, the treason trial of a leading RN submarine commander, the ship’s checkered career, and her political demise. Despite real technical successes, she would finally fall foul of “black propaganda”, aimed at persuading foreign naval powers that the cruiser submarine did not work; even today uninformed opinion repeats the myth of her failure. Well-illustrated with technical drawings and historical photographs, this book pays belated tribute to the real importance of the mysterious X.1.

Roger Branfill-Cook is a professional translator from French into English. He has written numerous articles for specialist magazines and is both a novelist and an author of non-fiction books.

~ Praise for X.1 ~

"X.1: The Royal Navy's Mystery Submarine will be of great interest to readers who are submariners, naval enthusiasts, or historians of military technology. It describes a lost era: before advances in radar and sonar made the life of the submariner more precarious; before the snorkel acoustic quieting and ultimately, nuclear propulsion, turned submersible boats into true submarines. It offers a unique glimpse into an unhappy period of the Royal Navy's epic history."


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