Hostilities Only : Training the Wartime Royal Navy

Author(s): Brian Lavery


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 instil 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.


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Brian Lavery is one of Britain's leading naval historians and a prolific author. A Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and a renowned expert on the sailing navy and the Royal Navy, in 2007 he won the prestigious Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award. His naval writing was further honoured in 2008 with the Society of Nautical Research's Anderson Medal. His recent titles include Royal Tars (2010), We Shall Fight On The Beaches (2009), In Which They Served (2008), Churchill's Navy (2006), and the Sunday Times bestseller Empire of the Seas (2010).

General Fields

  • : 9781844861460
  • : Anova Books
  • : Conway Maritime Press Ltd
  • : July 2011
  • : 248mm X 172mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Brian Lavery
  • : Paperback
  • : 359.5094109044
  • : 304
  • : 50 black & white illustrations, 50 black and white halftones