Bayly’s War is the story of the Royal Navy’s Coast of Ireland Command (later named Western Approaches Command) during World War I. After the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915 and the introduction of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans, Britain found herself engaged in a fight for survival as U-boats targeted all incoming trade.
Vice-Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly was the man appointed to the Coast of Ireland Command. A fierce disciplinarian with a mania for efficiency, and thought by some of his colleagues to be more than a little mad, Bayly took the fight to the enemy. Using any vessel he could muster--trawlers, tugs, yachts--as well as the few naval craft at his disposal, he set out to hunt down the enemy submarines. Relief came when America sent destroyers to Queenstown to serve under him, and Bayly, to the surprise of many, integrated the command into a homogenous fighting force.
Bayly’s War is a vivid account of this vigorous defense of Britain’s trade and brings to life the U-boat battles, Q-ship actions, merchant ship sinkings and rescues as well as the tireless Bayly, the commander at the center.