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Brytyjskie Stawiacze Min
HMS Abdiel & HMS Ariadne

By Slawomir Brezinski
BS Firma Wydaniczo-Handlowa


by Bob Pearson



The most recent release in the excellent Profile Morskie series of ship monographs features the fastest ships in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, the Abdiel Class Minelayers. In particular two of them, HMS Abdiel herself, and the improved Abdiel, HMS Ariadne.

Following WW1, the RN recognized the need for a specially designed minelayer – the result was HMS Adventure. However she was too big and too slow, therefore a new design for a fast, small minelayer was called for, these became the Abdiel Class. Originally three ships were ordered – Abdiel, Manxman, and Latona, later a fourth – Welshman – was added. All four were built by August 1941. Two more – Ariadne and Apollo – were laid down in 1941 and completed in 1943/44.

All went on to distinguished service in the Second World War, However such service also brought losses to the class. Latona was first, being sunk on 25 October 1941, succumbing to multiple air attacks without having ever laid a mine. Next was Manxman, torpedoed by U-375 on 1 Deceber 1942, she was not back in service before the end of the war. Welshman was soon to follow, being torpedoed by U-617 on 1 February 1943. Unfortunately she was less fortunate than Manxman and sank within three minutes. Abdiel followed on 10 September 1943 when she was the victim of a magnetic mine while anchored at Taranto.

The book follows the previous format with full colour covers providing profiles of the ships, this time there are six of them. Manxman, Welshman and both sides of Abdiel and Ariadne. These are nicely rendered, but I am doubtful about the pink in Abdiel's pattern.

The book itself consists of lots of text, which is in Polish, so not much help to me. However the photos and the drawings make up for this. The drawings are the real reason the non-Polish speaker will purchase these volumes. Included are side and plan views in 1/400 and 1/700 scale. There are also detail drawings of all components in both scales .. plus in larger sizes were useful.

For anyone contemplating the Airfix Manxman or Matchbox Ariadne, this volume is a must. For my accurizing of the Ariadne kit I spent a month gathering information which is all in this one source. As with all the other Profile Morskie volumes, this one is highly recommended.

I acquired this book through Lubos Vinar at VAMP MAIL ORDER. He doesn't have it listed on the VAMP website, but he can supply them to those interested in them. He does mention that it may take a little while as he must special order them.

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