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.




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!


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.

David Parry

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

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