WW1 Channel Wrecks

Author: Neil Maw

Hardcover: 327 pages. Publisher: Underwater World Publications; First Edition edition (1999)

ISBN-10: 0946020299. ISBN-13: 978-0946020294

World War One Channel Wrecks by Neil Maw

I was impressed by World War One Channel Wrecks as soon as I took it out of the wrapping. It just smelt of high-quality hardback. Flipping it open at random, the format reminded me of the Shipwreck Encyclopaedia series, but the differences soon became apparent. 

Neil Maw has provided a detailed history of the sinking of every single ship, from the smallest trawler to the largest battleship. Among these stories are great tales of heroism at sea and some amusing episodes - like the fishermen who abandoned ship, only for their dinghy to be accidentally crushed by the attacking U-boat. The reticent U-boat captain took the crew on-board for a few days while he made further attacks, then off-loaded them to the lifeboat of another ship he sank!

The maps showing approximate positions will be useful during the early planning of dive trips. I did a spot-check on the entries for some of the better-known wrecks and could not fault the accuracy of information. 

The wreck details include just about everything a diver wants to know about a wreck, except precise details of how to find it. The positions given are mainly official, with a few approximate. None are recorded from the GPS of a dive boat.

I can’t really object to this because the book doesn’t purport to be a dive guide. With that in mind, my usual gripe about lack of clarity of the co-ordinate system used and little indication of the accuracy of individual positions is somewhat irrelevant.

Overall, World War One Channel Wrecks is a wonderful work of obsessive research that will be of interest to any South Coast wreck-diver, and also those travelling to the French side of the Channel. The stories of wrecks further out to sea will no doubt provide inspiration for the growing trend to locate and explore deeper virgin wrecks.

John Liddiard, review taken from Divernet

Please note that international orders, including Europe, may be subject to additional taxes upon receipt.