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266. All at Sea

25/08/2016

It’s a little off topic, but this piece on the BBC website entitled ‘Spitfires of the Sea‘ mentions three junior officers who came up with the concept of the Coastal Motor Boat in 1916. One of them was Bunnie’s brother, Bill.

the Coastal Motor Boat was designed to be fast enough to jump the torpedo booms that protected the German fleet in harbour, and launch torpedoes. Because the boat went much faster than the torpedoes, they were launched facing forward over the stern, and then the boat veered off and the torpedo carried on.

The Coastal Motor Boat was designed to be fast enough to jump the torpedo booms that protected the German fleet in harbour, and launch torpedoes. Because the boat went much faster than the torpedoes, they were launched facing forward over the stern, and then the boat veered off and the torpedo carried on.

Bill devised the concept and served on them throughout WWI, being decorated for actions at Ostend and Zeebrugge, and at the Kronstadt raid, where he sunk his target, was injured 11 times, blown up and picked imprisoned by the Bolsheviks for six months. He deserved the VC, but they’d already awarded so many they couldn’t give him one.

You can see more of Bill’s details here, and for the full, amazing story of the raid itself, read the book Operation Kronstadt.

This shows Bunnie (l), Bill (c) and their father, on the boat back from Denmark after Bill was  freed in Feb 1920. We have masses of correspondence relating to the negotiations for his release.

This shows Bunnie (l), Bill (c) and their father, on the boat back from Denmark after Bill was freed in Feb 1920. We have masses of correspondence relating to the negotiations for his release.

 

And if you’re going to Duxford for the Air Show on 10/11 Sep, you will (I hope) see the Scout flying, and you can go and see the only remaining Coastal Motor Boat in the museum!

 

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