BOOK REVIEW | Very Special Ships – Abdiel Class Fast Minelayers of World War II


By Arthur Nicholson

The American lawyer author of this book about a very particular breed of British warships quite openly admits to having been besotted with them since he was a boy.

It is fortunate that is so because it has inspired him to collect an enormous amount of information about these “very special ships”. That information provides the basis for a very inspiring record of them and their very important but little known activities.

The Abdiels were impressively fast, at almost 40 knots, and impressively versatile. They performed a wide range of duties beyond minelaying and operated in most theatres of the war. Their speed and cargo (mine) carrying capacity gave them a versatility unknown to any other class of ship. They were not only special but really quite exceptional.

The author’s obsession has paid off for the reader. The amount of detail and the numerous excellent photographs and fine drawings and maps make this important record of naval history a pleasure to read.

Available from Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK.


Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.