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Further Reading

Below is a selection of books which I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in the events surrounding the loss of HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent and HMS Glorious.

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The Man Who Hit The Scharnhorst

'The Man Who Hit The Scharnhorst', The Ordeal of Leading Seaman Cyril 'Nick' Carter.

  • Publisher: Seeley (April 1973)
  • Author: John Austin with Cyril 'Nick' Carter
  • ISBN-10: 0854220119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854220113

In June 1940, Leading Seaman Cyril 'Nick' Carter was serving on the British destroyer H.M.S. Acasta when she and her sister-ship H.M.S. Ardent were ordered to escort the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Glorious from Norway back to Britain. En route, German warships attacked and sank all three ships with the loss of more than 1500 lives. From Acasta's ships company there was only one survivor: Nick Carter. A vivid, moving and thought-provoking account of a deeply tragic and very controversial episode in the history of the Royal Navy, which places very intense personal recollections from a survivor of the battle in the context of a review of the events surrounding the Norwegian campaign.

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Carrier Glorious

'Carrier Glorious', The Life and Death of an Aircraft Carrier.

  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (5 Aug 1999)
  • Author: John Winton
  • ISBN-10: 0304352446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304352449

John Winton's thoroughly researched book traces the history of HMS Glorious from concept, building, service in World War I as a "big gun cruiser" to her conversion to an aircraft carrier and re-commissioning in 1930. Operation of the ship throughout the 1930s, primarily in the Mediterranean, provides great insight into the frustrations experienced by aviators, both RN and RAF, due to their perceived divided loyalties. The author does point out that the heavy RN/RAF battles were fought in the vicinity of Whitehall rather than at squadron level, where integration appeared to be on a happy note. In fact, during the 1930s Glorious had the reputation of being an efficient, well-run and happy ship. The final two thirds of the book is concerned with the ship's operations after the appointment of a new captain on 16 June 1939, until she was sunk twelve months later.

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Lying In State

'Lying In State', How Whitehall denies, dissembles and deceives.

  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (22 July 2004)
  • Author: Tim Slessor
  • ISBN-10: 1845130308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845130305

Tim Slessor covers a range of subjects in this thoroughly well researched book and there is a whole chapter about the sinking of HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent and HMS Glorious. Tim lost his own father, who held the rank of Lieut-Commander on HMS Glorious, in the disaster.

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Adventure Glorious

'Adventure Glorious'

  • Publisher: Frederick Muller (1955)
  • Author: Ronald Healiss
  • ASIN: B0007J2AAW

The personal recollections of Ronald Healiss, who was one of the few survivors from the Glorious when she was sunk by German battlecruisers.

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The Battle For Norway

'The Battle for Norway', April - June 1940

  • Publisher: Seaforth Publishing (30 Mar 2010)
  • Author: Geirr H. Haarr
  • ISBN-10: 1848320574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848320574

This is the second book in a series of two, covering the events at sea during the German invasion of Norway in 1940, the first modern campaign in which sea, air and ground forces interacted decisively. Part one covers the events at sea off southern and western Norway where Norwegian and British forces attempted to halt the German advance out of the invasion ports as well as the stream of supplies and reinforcements across the Skagerrak. The second part focuses on the British landings in Central Norway where the Royal Navy for the fist time had its mastery challenged by air superiority from land-based aircraft. Part three covers the events in and around Narvik where Norwegian, British, French and Polish naval, air and land forces were engaged in the first combined amphibious landings of WW II. Part four sums up the events during the evacuation in June, in which the first carrier task force operations of the war, including the loss of the carrier Glorious, figure prominently. As in the first volume, the narration shifts continuously between the strategic and operational issues, and the experiences of the officers and ratings living through the events. Extensive research and use of primary sources reveals the many sides of this war, some of which remain controversial to this day.

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Straight and Level

'Straight And Level'

  • Publisher: Grub Street (November 1993)
  • Author:Air Chief Marshal Sir Kenneth 'Bing' Cross, KCB, CBE, DSO, DFC
  • ISBN-10: 0948817720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0948817724

The author was commissioned in the RAF in 1930, and during the course of his career he was director of six departments at the Air Ministry, five of which were in the operational field. This autobiography covers his exploits and experiences in World War II. One of his most significant feats took place during the evacuation from Norway when he landed a squadron of Hurricanes on the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious, the first time such a thing had ever been done. He was later one of the few survivors from the Glorious when she was sunk by German battlecruisers.

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