Nutting - The Cinderellas of the Fleet

Nutting, William Washburn, The Cinderellas of the Fleet. The Standard Motor Construction Company, Jersey City, NJ., 1920

The Cinderellas of the Fleet

William Washburn Nutting describes the construction, armament, listening devices, and tactics of British ML boats, WWI subchasers and German U-boats, and provides exciting and passionate narrative accounts of the chasers in action. Included are reprints of several first-hand accounts from men who served on subchasers, including:

  • Ensign George Wallace's account of Life on a Subchaser
  • Lt. Walter P. Groszman's account of the Otranto Barrage
  • Lt. (j.g.) Maclear Jacoby's account of How it Feels to Sink a Sub at the Durazzo engagement
  • Lt. (j.g.) George S. Dole's account of Farthest North in a Submarine Chaser

Note that this book was published by the Standard Motor Construction Company, the company that produced the engines for the chaser fleet - so it is partly a marketing piece, and it includes a certain degree of creative license. (For example, the photo on page 154 shows a submarine being blown out of the water, but the ship in the photo doesn't seem to be a chaser. Nutting fails to point this out.) The book is weak on research notes, but is still a good read.

The first part of the book covers the design precursor to the 110' chaser, the ML boat used extensively by the British.

The book contains a number of black and white photos and a color frontispiece illustration by John Olaf Todahl.

It seems to be fairly readily available online at used booksellers, at prices starting around $30, or significantly more, if you want a pristine copy. Note that the paper surface of the binding is very brittle on all the copies I have seen, and chips very easily. There is also a limited edition of this title with gilt edges and an oil-paper design on the cover. The page printing is identical.