Submariners are a special breed of sailor. Their environment, operating deep beneath the surface of the waves, is both unnatural and dangerous, and demands men of cool courage and exceptional quality. Prowling the depths like a mammoth shark, sometimes hunted, submarine crews live and fight, and sometimes die together, alone in the remote expanses of the world's great oceans. Regardless of national flag under which they sail, this small elite "Silent Service" is both feared and admired by all who sail the seas.
Plying their deadly trade in World War Two, the German U-boats posed such threat to the vital Atlantic convoys; Winston Churchill feared the submarine threat more than anything Hitler had at his disposal. Hunting in "wolf packs", roaming the shipping lanes far beyond the reach of protective aircraft, they decimated the Allied merchant vessels during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Manned entirely by volunteers, British and American submarines saw action in every maritime theater during the great conflict of 1939 - 1945, the crews fighting their solitary, stealthy, secret war with courage and nerves of steel.
Robert Taylor's evocative painting "Secret Operation" captures the menacing beauty of a submarine on the surface: the S-Class type HMS Sceptre slips her moorings in Scapa Flow, Scotland, and glides quietly into the North Sea to begin another top secret underwater operation. On the conning tower the skipper takes a final look across the water to the distant highlands while the crew savor the fresh salt air knowing soon they will submerge into their eerie, silent, artificial world, beneath the waves.
Vice-Admiral Sir Michael Lumby KCB, OBE, DSO, DSC
Mike Lumby completed his submariners training in December 1938. Joining HM Submarine Sturgeon, he was aboard that boat at the outbreak of war, serving in Norwegian waters. On 22 April 1942 he took command of HM Submarine SARACEN, where he won the DSO for the sinking of U-335. On 5 November 1942 SARACEN took part in Operation Torch - the Allied landings in North Africa, and on 9 November he sighted and sank the Italian submarine GRANITO, being awarded the DSO. In late July 1943 SARACEN was heavily damaged by enemy depth charges and a few days later was subjected to a further depth-charge attack by two Italian corvettes. Lumby and all but four of his crew were forced to abandon the boat, destroy it and surrender themselves. He remained a POW until repatriated in May 1945.
Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McGeoch KCB, DSO, DSC
Having specialized in submarines in 1937, becoming third hand aboard HM submarine CLYDE, Ian McGeoch rose quickly through the ranks to become a commissioned officer. In 1942 he was appointed to command HM submarine SPLENDID undertaking many highly successful active war patrols. On 21 April 1943 however SPLENDID's luck ran out whilst on patrol in the Bay of Naples. Depth-charged, they were forced to the surface. Wounded by enemy gunfire Lieutenant McGeoch and his surviving crewmembers were taken prisoner of war. During captivity he made many escape attempts, finally he succeeded and with the help of the local Resistance made it back home to England to continue his naval service.
Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh KBE, CB, DSO, DSC
Ian McIntosh volunteered for the submarine service in 1940. After completing his training, he joined HM Submarine PORPOISE in 1941, at the time undertaking mine laying operations in home waters. PORPOISE was then dispatched to the Mediterranean Sea to join the First Submarine Flotilla based in Alexandria. In February 1943 Ian McIntosh was appointed to command HM Submarine SCEPTRE operating in Norwegian waters and in the Bay of Biscay.
Commander Edward Young DSO, DSC*, RNV (S) R
Edward Young joined up as a young Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in April 1940. Four months later he entered the submarine service and became the first RNVR officer ever to do so. After three years of almost continuous active war patrols off Norway and Russia, in the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay and in the Mediterranean Theater - and after surviving a harrowing escape from a sunken submarine, HM Submarine STORM.
Overall print size: 19 5/8" wide x 17 1/2" high.
Image size: 13 3/8" wide x 10" high.