The Royal Navy battleship HMS Rodney was one of the most famous warships of the Second World War. Rodney and sister ship Nelson were, at the beginning of the conflict, the most modern battleships Britain possessed. As such, Winston Churchill referred to them as the country's "Captains of the Gate". This book tells Rodney's story, from her inception in the 1920s, through the notorious Invergordon Mutiny to her key roles in many crucial naval engagements. In May 1941 Rodney turned Bismarck, the pride of Hitler's navy, into twisted metal. She also participated in hard-fought Malta convoys, and supported the D-Day landings.
Through the eyewitness accounts of her sailors and marines the reader discovers what it was like to serve in a battleship at war. We also learn of the many famous fighting admirals who served in, or commanded, Rodney, including Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham and Admiral Sir John Tovey. Cunningham's harsh management style is highlighted as a possible cause of mutinous conduct by her sailors, which led to Rodney being unjustly branded 'The Red Ship'. The stories of previous British warships to carry the name Rodney, dating back to the 1750s, are also covered, including the vessel that took on the batteries at Sevastopol during the Crimean War. The Barnard-built 74-gun ship of the line that supported Wellington's troops in the Peninsular War is also featured, possibly the most detailed account yet of her life. As well as presenting a fresh perspective on Bismarck's destruction, the author provides new insights into a bomb hit on Rodney off Norway in 1940, which nearly made her the first British battleship lost to air attack. The book also contains an account of how a group of the battleship's sailors took part in the first ever British commando raid. Rodney's vital role, through her formidable naval gunfire support, in breaking the morale of Waffen SS divisions during the battle for Normandy, is covered, including the remarkable part played by code-breakers in directing the ship's guns. It all makes for an exciting, epic account of naval warfare.
Author: Iain Ballantyne
Title: HMS Rodney
Series: Warships of the Royal Navy
First Published by: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Date: 12 March 2008