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.
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.
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.