<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=610419235832899&ev=PageView &noscript=1"/>

Fairlie’s Secret War

How One Village Helped Defeat German U-Boats

by John Riddell


Available Formats:

in stock

Buy E-book
via Glassboxx
ISBN: 9781788855693
Published: 04 Aug 2022
Format: E-Book
Extent: 256
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Origin
  • Share:


About the Book

During the Second World War the Royal Navy’s vitally important Anti-submarine Experimental Establishment was secretly moved from Portland in Dorset to the Ayrshire village of Fairlie, to escape German bombing on the south coast. For the next six years it occupied the boatyard of yacht builder William Fife on the Firth of Clyde. During this time, highly confidential world-leading research on the acoustic detection of submarines by asdic – now known as sonar – was carried out by hundreds of scientists, officers and local men and women based at Fairlie. As experiments took place into new ways of sinking German U-boats, the peace of the quiet village was shattered. Winston Churchill described the work done at Fairlie as critical to winning the Battle of the Atlantic and ultimately the war. The research remained relevant to anti-submarine warfare long after the war, and is still relevant today.

Fairlie’s role in the war was not disclosed until relatively recently. Highly illustrated throughout and making use of previously unpublished material, this book tells the full story of the establishment at Fairlie for the first time. It describes the impact it had on local people, and their relationship with the naval officers and scientists who came to work there.

The Author

John Riddell

Born in Giffnock, John Riddell became interested in the Clyde, shipping and engineering from a young age. He worked as a civil engineer before becoming a senior lecturer and reader in water engineering at the University of Strathclyde. He has lived in Fairlie since 1972, and in retirement has continued to pursue his interest in the Clyde, ships and local history.

You may also like…

  • E-Book | Pub: 15 Jun 2013

    Britain’s first flying machine was trailed in Perthshire in 1907 and ever since – whether at war or in peacetime – Scotland has been in the frontline of British military aviation. In Tartan Air Force Deborah Lake investigates...

  • Paperback | Pub: 04 Apr 2016

    At Scapa Flow on 21 June 1919, there occurred an event unique in naval history. The German High Seas Fleet, one of the most formidable ever built was deliberately sent to the bottom of the sea at the British Grand Fleet’s principal anchorage...

  • Paperback | Pub: 08 Aug 2019

    On the brink of the First World War, Scotland was regarded throughout the British Isles as ‘the workshop of the Empire’. Not only were Clyde-built ships known the world over, Scotland produced half of Britain’s total production of...

  • E-Book | Pub: 01 Nov 2012

    The Royal Navy has always been seen as an English institution, despite a large Scottish contribution, from Admiral Duncan at Camperdown in 1797 to Andrew Cunningham in the Second World War. The Royal Navy’s most dramatic effect on Scotland,...