Vice-Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly was the man appointed to the Coast of Ireland Command. A fierce disciplinarian with a mania for efficiency, and thought by some of his colleagues to be more than a little mad, Bayly took the fight to the enemy. Using any vessel he could muster—trawlers, tugs, yachts—as well as the few naval craft at his disposal, he set out to hunt down the enemy submarines. Relief came when the United States sent destroyers to Queenstown, now known as Cobh, to serve under him, and Bayly, to the surprise of many, integrated the command into a homogenous fighting force.
Bayly’s War is a vivid account of this vigorous defense of Britain’s trade and brings to life the U-boat battles, Q-ship actions, merchant ship sinkings, and rescues as well as the tireless Bayly, the commander at the center.