If you’re enough of a submarine fan to be interested in an Owners’ Workshop Manual that’s among this month’s additions to the Haynes catalogue, you’ll already know that the prime UK destination for anyone interested in their history is the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport.
The museum features heavily in a guide to preserved submarines open to visitors in the UK that’s one of several appendices. The book’s main subject though – covered in astonishing detail – is HMS Alliance, the vessel that since going on display at Gosport last year after a £7 million restoration has been one of the site’s biggest attractions. Visitors can join tours, with a film narrated by British Hollywood star Ian McShane highlighting life on-board from WWII through the Cold War until the 1970s.
Now Britain’s only surviving Second World War-era submarine, the diesel-electric HMS Alliance was built for service in the Far East but a career spanning nearly 30 years took her all over the world. This in-depth review of what it was like to live and work on-board, as well as the craft’s engineering, is the work of Peter Goodwin, a former submariner and historian who was given full access before, during and after the restoration project.
A book can never be quite the same as a visit to the real thing , but this does an excellent job of getting inside a Cold War submarine. And if you’ve never contemplated making a trip to a submarine museum, it may give you an idea for at least one day out this summer.
The Royal Navy Submarine Owners’ Workshop Manual (1945 to 1973, A-Class – HMS Alliance) is published by Haynes in association with the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, price £22.99, ISBN9780857333896. Details of the museum are at www.submarine-museum.co.uk