The Ultimate Sacrifice, David Turner

The Ultimate Sacrifice, David Turner

The World War II Battleship

This book looks at the loss of the battleship HMS Royal Oak, sunk while apparently safely anchored at Scapa Flow in the second month of the Second World War. The author's uncle, Commander Ralph Lennox Woodrow-Clark, was one of the 833 men lost on the Royal Oak, giving the book a personal connection to the events described.

Turner starts by setting the sinking of the Royal Oak in context, looking at the poor state of the defences of Scapa Flow as well as giving a brief history of the Royal Oak, and looking at the reaction to her sinking.

After setting the context, this book focuses on the fate of the crew of the Royal Oak, with first hand accounts from survivors and from the crew of the Daisy II, the ship that rescued many of those survivors, in what is a particularly moving and effective part of the book.

Turner has found a very good selection of photographs, most either of or related to the Royal Oak, along with pictures of the Bismarck and of other British battleships of the period. Although this is a comparatively short book, it is well worth the modest price, and should help to achieve the author's stated intention - to make sure the lose of the Royal Oak is never forgotten.

Author: David Turner
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 80
Publisher: Melrose Books
Year: 2004

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