The Forgotten Flotilla - a new book available through this forum

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Mike L, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    The Forgotten Flotilla

    The Craft of Heroes
    Greece, Crete & North Africa – 1941

    This new book, printed in Australia in May 2014, is now available in the UK and Europe.

    Beautifully printed, lavishly illustrated and full colour throughout, this 208 page book is hard bound with colour dust jacket. It describes Australian Archaeologist Michael Bendon’s ‘rediscovery’ of a World War Two shipwreck in Crete and his subsequent research to find it’s history. The wreck turned out to be a Mk1 Tank Landing Craft. With the assistance of local Cretan people and divers, Bendon was then able to locate a similar wreck a couple of miles away.

    His six years of research has led him to England, Scotland, Australia and Greece but now he has pieced together the story of these two wrecks and the rest of the ‘Forgotten Flotilla’.

    The Mk1 LCT was the fore-runner of the thousands of LCTs that were crucial in many theatres of the Second World War. Bendon describes the design, development and deployment of the first of these revolutionary vessels. The first 20 made were shipped to Egypt in sections at the end of 1940. Reassembled there, the first few were deployed to Tobruk, then immediately sent to Crete, and on to Greece, where they were essential in the evacuation of Commonwealth troops. From that early deployment only one vessel returned to Crete – LCT A6. The wreck Bendon had found was that of the A6, even today listed in the Royal Navy records simply as ‘Lost in the Middle East’.

    Amazingly, with the help of a certain internet forum, Bendon was able to find that the skipper of A6 alive and living in England. In 1941 twenty one year old John Sutton was the Commanding Officer of A6 and his fascinating story forms the narrative core of the book. John is now 95 years old and was awarded a DSO and Mention in Dispatches for his actions in Greece and Crete before being made a Prisoner of War for four years.

    The book contains the history of all 20 LCTs sent to Egypt as well as background to the Greek and Cretan campaigns. The personal accounts from Commonwealth troops, RN and RNVR personnel are sometimes amusing, often moving, and provide an insight into the desperate times of Mediterranean operations in the early years of the war.

    This book is not currently available from Libraries or bookshops and can only be obtained from the UK agent, Michael Long. Price is £25.00 plus postage (£3.90 in UK, £9.50 to Europe by airmail).

    If you would like to order a copy please send me a PM.

    Attached Files:

    Buteman, Orwell1984 and Owen like this.
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Thanks for the orders Mark (Orwell 1984) and Andrew (Idler). Andrew, can you email me your postal address?

    PayPal invoices (including postage cost) will be sent asap and the books will be posted as soon as payment is received in my PayPal account.

  3. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Having received my copy last week, I just finished reading it last night so thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

    Firstly it is a beautifully put together book, very well illustrated with some great photographs. Lots of use of primary sources in tracing the little studied history of the first TLCs. This research is interwoven with the memories of John Sutton, one of the captains of these vessels who took part in the Greek evacuation and was captured after his TLC was sunk off Crete. For anyone who is interested in the Greek, Cretan or early desert campaigns or who has an interest in small craft of World War Two it is a must buy.
    I'm extremely glad I purchased it and look forward to further updates/books from this team.
    Kudos to them on the excellent work and in rescuing a long overlooked bit of WW2 history.
  4. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Many thanks for the review Mark, I hope the other forum members who have purchased the book will also contribute their views.

    As well as sales in the UK I have so far posted copies to France, Germany, Canada and Crete. The response from buyers has been universally positive, the quality of this book really sells itself. Feedback from some buyers has lead to further information on some of the lost vessels, including salvaged LCTs in German use, and the final fate of the 3 remaining craft after the end of the war.

    Plenty of copies still available - it would make a perfect Christmas present!
  5. Glen C

    Glen C Member

    This is a beautifully put together book which is very sympathetic to the subject matter and lovingly researched. The first hand testimony from John Sutton is a historians dream and for anyone interested in amphibious assault and combined operations this is a superb addition to any collection.

    My specific interest is the design and development of the early LCTs and, after discussion with both Mike Bendon and his UK agent Mike Long, there is a lot more to come on that front in years to come.

    This publication is also very timely with the very recent news that LCT(3) 7074 aka "Landfall" has been re-floated and is due to be restored in the next few years for display at the D-Day Museum.

    Well done Mike - a valuable, informative, entertaining and high quality publication.
  6. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Cheers for that review Glen, and yes - we will have to start co-ordinating our research with a view to publishing something.

    It is indeed a coincidence that 7074 is now at long last about to be restored. As you know I am currently in touch with both the National Maritime Museum and the RN Museum in order to make our research available to assist the project.
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    In that case I'll bump the thread for you in case anyone not seen it yet.
  8. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Cheers Owen!

    Due to PayPal proceeds from sales I am now in a position to look for a new (and much better) digital camera to use at Kew and the National Maritime Museum.

    Mike Bendon promised me a new camera and hopefully a new laptop as well if sales go well.
    At least that is what I told him he said after a few pints in a pub in Kew last year.

    Anxiously watching an ebay auction at the moment.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  10. Darius333

    Darius333 Junior Member

    Hello Mike,

    thank you for this Information!

    I´ll look for getting a copy.

    Greetings from Stuttgart.

  11. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Thanks Darius. I will send you my email address by PM.

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