Someone on the WWI-L mailing list posted a link to a scanned book with the rather excellent title Photographs of H.M. Vessels & Auxiliaries and Other Objects Taken from the Air. This was printed in August 1918 for the Intelligence Department of the Admiralty as CB 848 and was very clearly marked secret, issued in numbered copies so that if it fell into the wrong hands the security breach could be traced. There is also the rather odd restriction that
This book is NEVER to be carried in any Aircraft heavier or lighter than air.
Presumably this again was to prevent the Germans from finding a soggy copy washing up on the shore after some damn fool had taken it up for a joyride to compare the photos with the real thing and ended up in the drink. Eh what? Anyway, I think we can presume that the defence of the realm no longer depends on the secrecy of this book, and so we can enjoy the pretty pictures.
Dreadnought, revolutionary in its day but no longer the pride of the fleet. Vantage points like this were why the air force lobby thought that battleships themselves were on the way out: it looks like it would be so easy to just lob a bomb down one of those funnels...
A Yarrow M class destroyer.
This is what a submarine looks like when it has been 'Painted so as to be difficult to detect'.
Aircraft carrier Furious, a modified battlecruiser. Note the dazzle paint scheme. There's an aeroplane parked on the deck, probably a Camel. Just before this book was printed the Furious and its Camels executed the first ever aircraft carrier strike.
A boom defence against submarines, or in other words a barrage.
What an exploding bomb looks like.
A (secret) dead whale.
Related: land views.
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