The British Royal Navy has been sharply criticized for tactical errors in Asia during the years leading to WWII. In particular, the deployment of the Repulse and the Prince of Wales, and their catastrophic loss, has been characterized as part of a flawed and ineffective strategy.
In The Royal Navy in Eastern Waters, Andrew Boyd argues that the loss of these warships has overshadowed the Royal Navy's broader success in securing control of the Indian Ocean. This achievement, coming at a time when Russia's fate lay in the balance and before American economic power became a factor, shortened the war and made Allied victory possible.
The book moves authoritatively between grand strategy, intelligence, accounts of specific operations, and technical assessment of ships and weapons. It effectively challenges established views of the Royal Navy’s capabilities and performance, and will change understandings of Britain's role in the early years of the war. Superbly researched and elegantly written, this book adds a hugely important dimension to accounts of the war in the East.
Andrew Boyd earned a D Phil from Oxford in naval history. He served as a submariner in the Royal Navy before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1980.