Author meets Historian

Last week Eric Thompson, whose new book On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service is published on 28 February, met historian Dan Snow at the Museum who interviewed him about the book.


10 thoughts on “Author meets Historian

  1. It is an excellent read and I loved his anarchic anecdotes, quite unlike a lot of submarine memoirs. It also explains the tremendous pressure the technical branches were under in the early days of Polaris. For me, someone so far down the food chain, it was a book I have always hoped would be written. Bravo Eric!

    1. Very many thanks, Robbie. Comments like this make it all worthwhile. Apologies for late reply. I’ve only just notices this section of the website.

  2. A good read but I must take issue with the description of the Mk 24 torpedo as a ‘thing of beauty’. I would be inclined to label it a ‘white elephant’.
    The weapon mounted dispenser was a major cause of failure through wire break on discharge.
    This together with the archaic method of joining the the two ends of guidance wire which often caused insulation problems,(SNAFU alarm).
    Had we opted for the tube mounted dispenser and guidance wire joint operationally in use with the American Mk 48 since the mid 1970s.,it may have made a beauty out of the beast.

    1. Dear Richard, I agree absolutely with you. The dispenser and method of wire joining were two of the greatest faults with the Mk 24. When I described it as a ‘thing of beauty’, I was thinking of its superb nose and transducer array plus the shapely tail with the contra-rotating golden propellers. (What a sad geek I am). Apologies for late reply. I’ve only just spotted this section of the website. Eric

  3. I’ll be writing the history of submarines weapons shortly. To that end, I’ll be glad of any anecdotes, comments, memories or other information anyone has about the Mk24 Tigerish (or any other weapon for that matter). Please contact me at

  4. I remember enjoying inspecting them and rejecting the ones with scratches, much to the annoyance of RNAD. Fortunately I always had the backing of SWEO SM1 ( Cdr PPH) We also had an interesting snag that would come up if we didn’t clear down the master contact of a previous shoot. DCH would crash as the weapon left the tube, but we found we could still steer an operate, just not ‘see’ the weapon. 40 seconds later all was well. We got through our final Tigerfish Certification like this with a Good.

  5. I also remember the ‘tail rope’ we had to use in WARSPITE to get pull Tigerfish tail level once it had arrived in the fore ends. Temporary TWOP was required for that, even though it was ‘just a handy billy.’

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