Originally published 01/29/2013
It was perhaps one of the most hazardous roles of the First World War – acting as bait for German submarines.But that was exactly the job of HMS Stock Force, one of the Royal Navy’s top secret “Q-ships” or “Mystery Ships” – specially adapted decoy vessels with concealed guns, which lured U-boats to the surface and then engaged them in a deadly duel.The Stock Force was sunk in just such a clash, in what became one of the war’s most celebrated naval encounters, which led to its captain, Lieutenant Harold Auten, receiving the Victoria Cross, and inspired an early action film....
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