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As a maritime “buff” I was always interested in the Adriatic naval history between 1941 (in fact 1940) and 1945, but it wasn’t easy to find objective reports covering this period. All available sources in former Yugoslavia were one-sided when describing these events and operations, mostly exalting the Partisans (NOVJ Navy), with enemies remaining “faceless” or being shown – similar to many films and comic strips of the post-war era – as savage bandits or easy prey for always alert and super-human Partisan heroes. Like most boys from my generation I was fed-up with this kind of “information” about the war at sea, where for example no information on “former Navies” (Austro-Hungarian and Royal Yugoslav alike) was to be found, but Italians and Germans were in spite of their steel ships always chased away by our “wooden destroyers with steel-hearted crews”. It became clear to me that a book was missing that would list – concise and objective – the operations of all participants in the Adriatic naval war between 1940 and 1945. In Great Britain several popular books about their FAC operations were published almost immediately after the war, but these are mostly sold-out, with only few reprints appearing in late 20th Century, and several years ago new series on technical data and operations of British MTBs and MGBs appeared. The book is dedicated to late Dr. Achille Rastelli, a well known Italian naval historian and author of many books and articles on Italian merchant marine and naval forces. His unselfish will to help and his infinite knowledge would be missed by friends and colleagues across the world, because he was always ready to assist with data or pictures from his great collection.


Zvonimir Freivogel

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