Just over a million people - 923,000 men and 86,000 women - served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. They enlisted after a huge recruitment campaign necessitated by the need for a massive injection of manpower. To this end, thousands of 'hostilities only' personnel joined the service, and these inexperienced recruits would play a vital role for the duration of the war.
Using first-hand accounts and archival research, acclaimed historian Brian Lavery reveals the scale of the training operations initiated for these recruits. Rapid and effective training was vital, as most had never been to sea before; indeed, some could not even swim. The book examines the methods used to instill the skills, attitude and naval discipline needed to serve in many different roles and theatres of war. In the author's trademark anecdote-led style, Hostilities Only recounts the experiences of the men and women who were plunged into a challenging and unfamiliar environment, giving new insight into one of the major untold stories of the Second World War.
Author(s): Brian Lavery
First Publishment Date: 23 September 2011