1st.ed., 2005. Xv + 174 pp20 photo-plates + maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Between June 1940 and November 1941, the legendry Force 'H' based at Gibraltar under Admiral Sir James Somerville's command was almost constantly in action. Formed in haste after the fall of France and Italy's entry into the war, its two objectives were to keep open the vital flow of supplies to Malta in the western Mediterranean (previously the responsibility of the French Navy) ; and in the Atlantic to protect British convoys and Atlantic islands from enemy attack. Its first distasteful but necessary task was to use force to prevent the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir from falling into German hands. The action convinced the US that Britain would never surrender and would fight on alone if need be. For the next 18 months Force 'H' escorted convoys to Malta, protected the island with aircraft from ARK ROYAL, and out in the Atlantic one of its most famous actions was to play a critical role in the pursuit of BISMARCK enabling the Home Fleet to sink her. The author served as a midshipman in Force 'H' aboard the destroyer LAFOREY and the battleship MALAYA.