The thrilling and true story of the development and operational deployment of human torpedoes - Chariots - and X-craft midget submarines in British naval service during WWII and of the extraordinary men who crewed these dangerous vessels.
The commando frogmen who rode the Chariots and operated as divers from the X-craft were the forerunners of today's Special Boat Service, the SBS. Their aim was to attach an explosive charge underneath an enemy ship to destroy the vessel. Their hope was to return to their submarine unscathed.
The Real X-Men tells the story of the sacrifice and heroism of the individual men, many of them little more than teenagers, who volunteered for this dangerous duty and who crewed both the Chariots and the X-craft without knowing the full extent of the risks entailed nor indeed the very small chances they had of coming back alive.
©2015 Robert Lyman (P)2015 WF Howes Ltd
Yes, I have. The narration got over the sense of drama and the sheer bravery of, what sound like "ordinary" people doing extraordinary things.
There wasn't really any single character that stood out, they were all people you would wish to meet and spend time with.
No single scene, the whole story is stranger than fiction, from development of the weapons, the training through to the missions themselves.
I can't really improve on the title of the book.
The narration was great, Peter Noble has done a fine job of giving voice to these amazing heroes of the deep both British and Italian and helped give air to just how difficult and extraordinary their work was. Robert Lyman has written a brilliant book on a fascinating subject. I've suggested friends of mine that are professional divers listen to, or read this book.
This is a well written and well read account. It covers the Allied use of human torpedoes and midget submarines from wooden mockups to the sinking of Japanese warships in 1945. The immense danger to crews is highlighted by the many fatalities and near fatalities even in training. In this modern age of diving for sport we often forget how knowledge and equipment had to be developed from scratch in the 1940a
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