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The Man Who Bought a Navy

The Man Who Bought a Navy
The Man Who Bought a Navy, by Gerald Bowman, tells the amazing story of how in 1919, and under the watchful eyes of their British captors, the Germans managed to scuttle their entire surrendered High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. Hardback, 249 pages.
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The fascinating story of the recovery of the sunken battleships of the German fleet in Scapa Flow from the determination of entrepreneurial adventurers to the dogged bravery of men working in extreme and dangerous conditions. Pieced together after much research and told for the first time in this autobiography is the astounding story of what is regarded as the greatest achievement in the history of marine salvage - the raising of the German Imperial High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow.

When the Germans scuttled their surrendered navy at Scapa Flow after the First World War, top salvage experts were agreed that the work of recovering the ships was near-impossibility. Engineer Ernest Cox was the one man who defied their prediction. In 1924 he decided to buy the scuttled fleet from the Admiralty, gambling his entire personal fortune on the colossal task of raising the German ships. Cox was a natural-born engineering genius, and though he had never before salvaged even a rowing-boat, the fanatical energy and tireless concentration with which he worked during the next eight years achieved staggering results. His methods were unorthodox. He lifted ships that were lying upside down, turned them the right way up, and pumped them dry. When this was impossible, he had patches clamped over every opening in the capsized hulls and pumped compressed air into them until they rose to the surface. Inevitably there were disasters. Oil-vapour explosions occurred in which men were working over 60 feet below the surface; chains and heavy gear broke; re-floated ships sank suddenly when corroded bulkheads collapsed. Yet Cox not only weathered these hazards but also succeeded in raising six vessels in fourteen days, a record, and recovered the battleship Hindenberg, the biggest ship ever raised in history.

The Man who bought a Navy has 249 pages and has over 100 photographs and is THE set text on this incredible feat of marine salvage and engineering.
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United Kingdom

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