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Unexploded Bombs and Rendering Mines Safe

Churcher, Colin
TO RENDER SAFE
Pentland Press, Bishop Auckland, 1999, [x], 233pp, the authors experiences in the Royal Navy, joining in 1943 as a seventeen year old rating after training he served in the destroyer HMS Myngs which supported a carrier attack on Tirpitz and took part in an Arctic convoy to Murmansk before the end of the war in Europe, after a brief visit to Singapore and return via Malta to Europe, he hadf a spell in hospital with rheumatic fever, then HMS Agincourt and a visit to South Africa, a further gunnery course and draft to HMS Cheviot at Malta, a diving course there while he waited for his ship, service in the Mediterranean and return for another gunnery course, refreshing his diving qualification, PO's board and after 6 months watchkeeping at sea he was commissioned, his first appointment was as diving officer in the frigate HMS Yarmouth bound for Singapore, after spells in the Malayan jungle with Ghurkas and as training officer in Accra he went on the Clearance Diving Course, was was appointed 2ic Clearance Diving at Portsmouth based at HMS Vernon, an appointment as 1st Lieut. in the minehunter HMS Hubberston at Singapore and two years later command of the Portsmouth diving and bomb team or as it was now called EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal),

Griffiths, Maurice GM, Lt. RNVR
THE HIDDEN MENACE
Conway Maritime 1993 Conway Maritime Press, 1993, mines and minesweeping, the types and methods: the author served as Lt. Cmdr. WW2 in RMS (Rendering Mines Safe) for which he was awarded the George Medal,

Grosvenor, J. and Bates, L. M.
OPEN THE PORTS
William Kimber, 1956, (pb Kimber 1960), an account of the small branch of the Royal Navy in WW2, the 'P' Parties which, acting as human mineweepers, followed up the invading forces to clear the ports of underwater mines and booby-traps inaccessible to the standard methods of sweeping, with appendix of honours and awards, scarce,

Hartley, Major A. B., MBE, RE
UNEXPLODED BOMB - The Story of Bomb Disposal
Cassell, London, 1958, an account of Bomb Disposal in WW2 Britain, with details of numerous incidents and of the development of different methods for dealing with the new types of fuzes, illustrating the constant battle between the German fuze designers and the British bomb disposal officers,

Hunt, Capt. H. J., MBE
BOMBS AND BOOBY TRAPS
Romsey Medal Centre / Picton Publishing, Chippenham, 1986, a veteran of WW1 and subsequently the Territorial Army the author was recalled in 1939 and spent some months as a spare officer at Longmoor. In June 1940 he responded to a request for voluneers for Bomb Disposal, was sent to the RAF Armament School at Manby, Louth for training after which he was appointed to command 64 Bomb Disposal Section at Pontefract. Soon transferred to Ilford and accommodated in the Gordon Road Drill Hall with 33 BDS. The next day he was appointed Reconnaisance Officer for North of the Thames at the Duke of Yorks HQ at Chelsea because of his knowledge of London, assisting in the formation of nos. 2 and 5 BDS companies before his return in October 1940 to command 33 and taking over 64 BDS as their officer had been transferred. He relates the day-to-day responsibilities of a BD Section officer for his men, 1 sergeant and 31 other ranks, the devlopment of a structure for Bomb Disposal with the formation of Groups of sections and Companies and where they were stationed in London, comments on the unsuitability of dockers for BD work, his antipathy for non-combatant volunteers for Bomb Disposal (presumably concientious objectors) until he eventually realised their true worth, of working with the Admiralty and parachute mines, etc., he became Divisonal Officer No. 7 Group Civil Defence responsible for technical reconnaisance of all UXBs, an interesting record that contains some valuable information about the period but which with more severe editing the ease of reading would have been improved

Jappy, M. J.
DANGER UXB - The Remarkable Story of the Disposal of Unexploded Bombs during the Second World War
Channel 4 Books / Macmillan, London, 2001, written to accompany the Channel 4 documentary Danger Unexploded Bomb, an account of the work of the Bomb Disposal sections of the Royal Engineers in WW2 with many interviews with veterans, of the early days and the development of the skills required, with sections on Land Mines which were dealt with by Naval Rendering Mines safe officers, and with a good account of the anti-personnel butterfly bombs particularly the raid on Grimsby in June 1943, not often mentioned in similar works,

Keeble, Peter
ORDEAL BY WATER
Longmans Green, 1957, an ex merchant seaman with a masters ticket, South African Lt. Cdr. Keeble transferred from minesweepers in 1941 to set up an underwater salvage and mine disposal team in the Eastern Mediterranean,

Lincoln, F. Ashe Cdr. RNVR
SECRET NAVAL INVESTIGATOR
Wm. Kimber, 1961, the story of the intelligence and research behind the counter measures for disarming mines and torpedoes,

Low, Professor A. M.
MINE AND COUNTERMINE
Hutchinson and Co., 1940, a history of mine warfare and mines and their uses, counter measures and methods of laying and sweeping in current use,

Owen, James
DANGER UXB - The Heroic Story of the WWII Bomb Disposal Teams
Little Brown, London, 2010, (pb Abacus, 2011), an account of the development and the extraordinary exploits of the members of Bomb Disposal in Britain during WW2, 750 members of whom were killed during the war, half as many again as 'The Few' Battle of Britain pilots, a detailed account of the lack of preparation in Britain during the early months of WW2 for dealing with unexploded bombs, of the eventual founding of a branch of the Royal Engineers specifically to handle them, of the Cinderella nature of the service starved of resources, and of the political wrangles about the responsibility for finding counter-measures to the constantly changing types of fuzes. An unfortunate choice of title for a book when it has already been used as the title for the unconnected (other than the subject) Thames Television drama series and the title of a book to accompany a Channel 4 two episode documentary, especially when this book is so much more, illustrated,

Southall, Ivan
SOFTLY TREAD THE BRAVE
Angus and Robertson 1950 Angus and Robertson (Australia, 1950's), also a later edition by Companion Book Club, the WW2 exploits of two RMS Australian mines-disposal officers, John Stuart Mould GC GM and Hugh Randall Syme GC GM and bar, with the Royal Navy's Rendering Mines Safe dept. and the German sea-mines they encountered on land around Britain, illustrated and scarce,

Southall, Ivan
SEVENTEEN SECONDS
Hodder & Stoughton/Brockhampton Press, London, 1974, (pb Knights Books H&S, 1977), a version of Softly Tread the Brave by the same author and telling the same story of two young Australian naval officers in England, John Stewart Mould and Hugh Syme dealing with German mines on land, prepared for younger people and, in view of the scarcity of the original, well worth consideration,

Turner, John Frayn
SERVICE MOST SILENT - The (Royal) Navy's Fight against Enemy Mines
George Harrap, ND [c1955], the story of the department of the Royal Navy responsible for Rendering Mines Safe (RMS), work essential so as to discover how they worked and thus adapt or devise sweeping methods, illustrated,

Turner, John Frayn
HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE - The Exploits of Major 'Bill' Hartley, MBE, GM, of Bomb Disposal
Harrap, London, 1961 (reissued White Lion, London, 1974), based on 'Unexploded Bomb' and incorporating certain material from Hartley's own account, a review of the events of bomb disposal of WW2 expanded with details of post-war unexploded bombs discovered after Hartley's book was written and including that at Putney in 1959 for which he was later awarded the George Medal,

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