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SEAFORT by: Stephen Turner



A new fully illustrated book is available that includes material from Turner's time at the Fort, full colour photographs, an essay by Ian Hunt, an interview with Turner by Rachel Lichtenstein and a brief history of the Maunsell Forts.

Hardback / 96 pages. 
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The Maunsell Sea Forts, Part 1. The Naval Sea Forts of the Thames Estuary
ISBN 09524303-0-4


Maunsell Navy Forts

Describes how the Naval Sea Forts came into being, how the design evolved, how they were built and the placing of the four Forts in position in the Thames Estuary.

Covers the wartime action of the Marine and Navy crews and the post war occupation until 1956 when they were finally abandoned by the Government. The period from 1964 - 1967 The Pirate Radio Era and their current condition up to 1994. Many drawings and approx 100 photographs included, many of which have never been previously published.


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The Maunsell Sea Forts, Part 2. The Army Sea Forts of the Thames Estuary
ISBN 09524303-1-2


Maunsell Army Forts

Covers the Army Sea Forts placed in the Mersey and Thames Estuaries between 1942 and 1943. How Maunsell overcame the seabed problems encountered, the setting up of a special Anti-Aircraft Regiment to man them and the wartime actions. Describes post war plans to build even larger Army Sea Forts around the UK coastline. The Radio Pirate era from 1964 - 67 until the introduction of the Marine and Broadcasting Offences Act forced them to leave, plus the current state of the Forts.

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The Maunsell Sea Forts, part 3. Thames Estuary Defenders, The Human Element
ISBN 09524303-7-1


Maunsell Fort Part 3

 A collection of memories and photographs from former crew members of the Maunsell Sea Forts. It tells just what it was like to serve on the Forts and conveys the human element not covered in parts 1 & 2. It describes those actions and events not covered in Official records. It also gives an update as to the of the remaining Forts as at May 1996.


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All of the books below can be ordered online at Barbarossa Book Shop

The Maunsell Sea Forts Video

Sea Fort Video

This Video which is approximately 44 minutes long fully describes why and how the Sea Forts were built in Gravesend t includes rare wartime film footage of the sinking of The Rough Tower and Knock John Sea Forts. The sinking of the first Sea Fort, Rough Tower , nearly ended in disaster due to a panic order given before the pre sinking procedure had been completed. All the drama of this sinking has been captured on film and viewers will look in disbelief as the huge 4,500 ton structure lists over at 35 degrees almost capsizing with over a 120 men on board


The Maunsell Army Sea Forts, A5 laminated cover, 30 pages. ISBN 1901132-14-5

Maunsell Fort Booklet

Following on from the Naval Sea Fort design, forty nine Army towers were ordered to be placed in the Thames as a navigational aid to the centre of London . The towers set down in clusters of seven, were mounted with 3.7" heavy anti-aircraft guns and 40mm Bofors light anti-aircraft guns. Also built by Holloway Brothers ( London ) Ltd., between 1942 and 1943 after the completion of the Naval Forts. A very advance design that led to the first North Sea exploration rig in the post war period. Two of these Army Forts still stand and can be seen from the Whitstable and Herne Bay coastline. Contains drawings and photographs.


The Maunsell Naval Sea Forts
ISBN 1901132-13-7


Details of the extensive undertaking at the Red Lion Wharf, Gravesend by Holloway Brothers (London) ltd., during the period 1941 - 1942 when four enormous reinforced 120 foot high forts were built. These forts were towed down river by local tugs and placed on the Estuary sea bed to foil German magnetic mine laying activities. Over 400 personnel were employed at the site and the unique design subsequently led to the acceptance of the Mulberry Harbour design for the Normandy beach head in 1944.

Contains drawings and photographs.


The Maunsell Sea Forts
ISBN 1901132-06-4


This condensed history of the Army and Navy Sea Forts has much more historic detail including additional drawings and photographs of the Forts. Gives the condition of the Forts up to September 2002.


Knock John Naval Fort and the Lady Stardust 2
ISBN 1901132-08-0

Knock John

Describes the incident of 12 th May 1944 when a USAAF B17 Flying Fortress named "Lady Stardust 2" crashed near the Knock John Naval Sea Fort in the Thames Estuary. It fully describes the flight of the aircraft that took part in a raid on a Czechoslovakian oil refinery in Bruz. How it was repeatedly attacked and managed to get back to England with only one engine operating, one crewman dead and many severely injured. If you think the Memphis Belle was a good story you should read this book. Contains wartime and postwar crew members pictures as well as drawings and map.


The Radio Pirates aboard the Offshore Forts
ISBN 1901132-08-0

Radio Pirates


Giving the complete history of the use by the Radio Pirates of the various Forts in the Thames Estuary. Many coloured photographs and drawings including a detailed plan showing the use of Knock John by Radio Essex and detailing the equipment utilised by the pirates to broadcast.



The Maunsell Sea Forts
ISBN 19011132-01-3


Contains a potted history of both types of Thames Sea Fort and includes drawings and black and white photographs. Covers the period up to the demise of the Tongue Sands Naval Sea Fort off Margate in 1996.


The Sealand Story
ISBN 1901132-07-2

Sealand Story


Explains in detail why Prince Roy Bates is entitled to be in possession of the former Naval Sea Fort, Roughs Tower , also now known as the Principality of Sealand. The complete of the Fort from 1942 to the present time with many photographs and drawings included.



The Wreck of the U.S. Richard Montgomery
ISBN 09524303-6-3

Wreck of RM


As a result of incorrect orders, this vessel became stranded on a shallow sandbank and broke its back. Although part of the cargo of explosives was removed in 1944, there still remains over 3000 tons on board the wreck situated just outside the Port of Sheerness . Contains cargo manifest detailing the explosives still on board as well as drawings, map and photographs.



The WW2 Dam Busters Trials at Reculver
ISBN 09524303-8-x

Dam Buster Trials


Details the secret trials carried out by the Royal Air Force off the beach at Reculver just before the actual raid in May 1943 on the German Dams. Some dummy bombs used in the trials were recovered as recently as July 1997. Contains drawings and a map.



The Steam Tug Challenge
ISBN 1901132-23-4

Steam Tug Challenge


A history of the steam tug built in 1931 and still going strong after much loving restoration work. Contains many previously unseen photographs of the tug in action over the Dunkirk period and also later in the war.



The Steam Tug "Cervia"
ISBN 1901132-32-3

Steam Tug Cervia


A full history of the tug initially built as the "Empire Raymond" for the Government in 1945-1946 and renamed "Cervia" in 1946 when she joined the Wm Watkins fleet. The ship is now preserved in Ramsgate Harbour by the East Kent Maritime Trust.



The V1 Flying Bomb 
ISBN 1901132-29-3

V1 Flying Bomb


A history of the first Vengeance Weapon (Hence V1) used by the Germans against the British population in June 1944. Explains the launch procedure and includes many photographs and details of how to visit existing sites in France .



The definitive history of H.M. Army Fort "The Nore", May 1943 to May 1959
ISBN 1901132-44-7

Nore Fort


H.M. Army Fort "The Nore" is part of a new series explaining the full history of the individual Maunsell Sea Forts placed in the Thames Estuary during WW2. It covers their wartime activities and the period when the forts were used by the Radio Pirates and their use to the present time. All booklets contain colour and black and white photographs covering the period and stories of action against enemy raiders during WW2. The Radio Pirate activities are explained as well as other occupations during their period of existence.

The definitive History Series also comprises:

H.M. Naval Fort " Roughs Tower " now known as "Sealand". 
ISBN 1901132-40-4

H.M. Naval Fort "Sunk Head" 
ISBN 1901132-41-2

H.M. Naval Fort "Tongue Sands"
ISBN 1901132-42-0

H.M. Naval Fort "Knock John"
ISBN 1901132-46-3

H.M. Army Fort "Redsands"
ISBN 1901132- 43-9

H.M. Army Fort "Shivering Sands"
ISBN 1901132-44-7


Sunk Head


The full range of publications by Military Historian, Frank Turner.


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