names were, HMA Ships
Stuart, Voyager, Vampire, Vendetta and Waterhen.
thrilling actions were fought in World War 11 than those
fought in the Medtterratiean and Far East, and in these
savage tussles five over aged Australian destroyers played
a glorious part.
Flotilla" is the story of these five ships. Scouring
Italys "Mare Nostrum" From South to North
and from East to West. They fought countless fiery actions
with surface craft, submarines and the Luftwaffe's deadliest
five HMAS Waterhen was sunk, but the remaining 4 destroyers
sailed back home to Australia to do battle with the Japanese
in the Far East.
Story of the "Scrap-Iron Flotilla is the story of Matapan
and Calabria, of evacuation from Greece and Crete and of
the immortal "Tobruk Ferry Service". It is the
story too, of the war against Japan and the loss of HM Ships
Prince Of Wales and Repulse.
are brilliant first hand accounts of some of the war's most
fiery encounters, but there is humour too, even in the midst
is a factual story. I say this at the outset because you may feel that
no five ships could get into (and out of!) so much trouble in such a
short time. These five did. I served in one of them in the quieter days
that followed the storm.
was bountiful evidence of the part she had played, captured Breda guns,
Fiat guns, rifles, glasses, knives. Often the men gathered in groups
in the messdecks to spin dits about the more hectic times.
It seemed unfair that nothing had been written about them, and so this
book was born.
was not an easy story to write. Action and humour and dull monotony
toppled over one another in a crazy procession. Some things had to be
omitted for security reasons; others because there was not enough room
for the whole tale.
ships received a little more attention than others. And, finally, many
of the officers and men whose stories are told must, perforce, remain
anonymous. However, here it is, dedicated to the ships, officers and
men of the Scrap-iron Flotilla.
F. Moyes, Sub-Lieutenant RANVR, 1944
little has been written in length about the famous "Scrap Iron
Flotilla" and their achievements in the Mediterranean and Far East
during those dark, early days of World War Two. Most history books relegate
them well down the list behind the more formidable and well known 'battlewagons'.
when Britain stood alone with her back to the wall against the might
of Nazi Germany the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla' took on all comers.
make no apologies for the lack of today's political correctness in the
text you are about to read, nothing has been altered. The reader should
keep in mind that the following was written between 1942-44, when Australia
was still very much at war, in all theatres across the globe.
Webmaster would like to acknowledge the marvellous works of Mr. John
F. Moyes' "Scrap Iron Flotilla" and for making it possible
for future generations of Australians to share in this unique piece
of Australian Naval and Military history.
......"Close up and clear away for action!", as you sail into
battle with the R.A.N. in "The Scrap Iron Flotilla".