The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters

Linchpin of Victory 1935-1942

Hardcover $13.18
Book: Cover Type


The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters tells the compelling story of how the Royal Navy secured the strategic space from Egypt in the west to Australasia in the East through the first half of World War II. It explains why this contribution, made while the Soviet Union’s fate remained in the balance and before American economic power took effect, was so critical. Without it the war would certainly have lasted longer and decisive victory might have proved impossible. After the protection of the Atlantic lifeline, this was surely the Royal Navy’s finest achievement.

The book covers grand strategy, intelligence, accounts of specific operations, and technical assessment of ships and weapons. It challenges established perceptions of Royal Navy capability and will change the way we think about Britain’s role and contribution in the first half of the war. The Royal Navy of 1939 was stronger than is usually suggested and British intelligence did not fail against Japan. Nor was the Royal Navy outmatched by Japan, coming very close to a British ‘Midway’ off Ceylon in 1942. And it was the Admiralty, demonstrating a reckless disregard for risks that caused the loss of Force Z in 1941. The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters also emphasizes the key role the American relationship played in Britain’s Eastern naval strategy.

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Editorial Reviews

"[F]rom the very first pages, [the book] commands the reader's attention.... This book is a history game-changer in putting the Indian Ocean at the centre of Britain's war strategy as it evolved from 1939 to 1942. It is well-written and well researched: there are 85 pages of footnotes and the bibliography extends to 27 pages."—Warship, as part of the publication's Naval Books of the Year
"This book is recommended for specialist naval historians as well as general readers interested in the Second World War at sea." —The Northern Mariner