The Admiralty Regrets: British Warship Losses of the 20th Century by Paul Kemp
"The Admiralty regrets..." is the phrase used in countless official communiques to announce the loss of one of HM ships. Over 800 British warships have been lost in the 20th century in peace and in war. The circumstances of each loss vary enormously; some involve desperate heroism in battle while others are almost farcical and show something of the black humour which attends such occasions. The timespan of the subject matter means that this book becomes more than a mere list of ships' losses. In chronicling the losses, the author also traces the development of naval warfare and weaponry of the 20th century: the book opens with the loss of a ship as a result of a grounding, and closes with the tale of a ship sunk by a guided missile. The losses have been presented chronologically and the strictly defined criteria governing each entry allow for easy presentation as well as comparison. Illustrated with a selection of contemporary photographs.