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Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.

Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.
Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret  Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.

Chariots of War. Exploring Top Secret Anglo-Italian Underwater Warfare.

 

The Author deserves great credit...Chariots of War is a fitting tribute to a group
of exceptionally brave men.

H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh
Foreword

 

 

The naval documents stamped ’TOP SECRET’ were addressed to my late father and as I pieced together the information, I realised he’d been involved in covert naval operations during World War II. This was a subject he’d never discussed. The newspaper cuttings reported the navy using ’Chariots;’ I had to find out more.

    Robert W.Hobson
Chairman
                                   The Underwater Heritage Trust.


 

Little-Known Chariots | An Overview

Invented in 1935 by two Italian Naval engineers, the small submersible, nick-named ’The Human Torpedo’ or ’Chariot’, did not see active service until WW2, when a series of attacks were made against British vessels, anchored in the Mediterranean.

During WW2, the objective of the Italian Navy was to reduce the superior powers of the British Fleet, thus balancing the odds in the battle for the control of the Mediterranean. On December 9th 1941, three Italian ’Chariots’ entered Alexandria Harbour, sinking a British Tanker, and seriously damaging the battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant.

The Italian success with the ’Chariots’ resulted in incresed security at all British ports in the Mediterranean, furthermore, recognising the potential of this underwater weapon, Prime Minister Winston Churchill immediately instructed the formation of a British, ’Human Torpedo Unit’. The first British mission was to attack the German battleship Tirpitz, anchored in a Norwegian fjord. Subsequent missions took place in the Meditterranean. As a result of the Italian armistice in 1943, the British and Italian torpedo units joined forces.

 

 

Chariots of War | Overview

'Chariots' is the definitive book on a little-known facet of naval warfare. In piecing together his late father's diaries, secret documents and newspaper cuttings, author Robert Hobson captures the spirit of the day, and pays homage to the long-forgotten ’Charioteers.’

 

Chapter 1. 'Inspired by Leonardo de Vinci

The origins of the breathing apparatus and diving suit.

The Italian  breathing apparatus & diving suit.

The British breathing apparatus & diving suit.

"In the year 1500, Leonardo de Vinci made a drawing detailing a man underwater, with a breathing tube connected to his mouth and a float on the surface..."

Chapter 2. How The Human Torpedo Acquired Its Name

The Origins of The Chariot.

How the 'human torpedo' acquired its name.

How the Italian submersible evolved.

How the British submersible evolved.

"The first submarine to be used in war-like operations was the 'turtle'....a crude propellor allowed movement, and a paddle-style rudder steared the machine towards its target."

 

Chapter 3. Italian Pilots Sitting In Style

 

"The sitting posititon was an important modification to the Italian chariot - often referred to as 'pig.' Instead of crouching with bent knees, Italian pilots adopted a more streamline 'jockey-style'  with the  head looking directly forward, and legs outsretched behind..."


Chapter 4.  British Charioteers Do It Differently

 

"Volunteer charioteers were informed they would be undertaking a 'top secret' diving  mission...on his second test-dive, Berey was asked to bend an iron bar;reactions were monitored by professor Haldane..." 

Chapter 5. Leonardo's Dream Turns Into Reality

The Chariot post 1945

"Leonardo's dream turns into reality...The Italian physiologist and physicist Giovanni Borelli (1608-79) studied amphibians, and designed an early 'frogman's suit' from goat skin. Instrumental in recognising the benefits of  fish-like and amphibian characteristics, Borelli also added flippers..."

Listing of pilots & charioteers

Bibliography



Specification:

Binding: Casebound [Hard-Back]
Size:English A4
Pages: 170 pages
Photographs: 250  period photographs thereabouts.

Author: Robert Hobson. Founder of  The Underwater Heritage Trust.

Foreword: H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh
Afterwords: Admiral Bettini, Italy, Stan Johnson MBE, Founder of The Eden Camp Museum, Yorkshire, England, Contessa Maria Fede De Taliedo, Italy.

Editor: Ulric Woodhams
Copy Editor:Ulric Publishing
Book Layout:Ulric Publishing
Book Covers:Ulric Publishing

Status: In Print

ISBN/13: 9780954199715

Price:

29.95

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