SINK THE ARK ROYAL

BY DUNCAN HARDING

Autumn 1941.

In the Mediterranean, the war has reached its decisive phase. In North Africa Rommel, the ‘Desert Fox’, is preparing to start his victory march on Cairo. Nothing will stop him. The British 8th Army is exhausted and demoralized. There is only one faint hope on the horizon — the British-held island of Malta.

From Malta, the Royal Navy and RAF have constantly destroyed Rommel's vital supply convoys. But constant attacks by German dive bombers has left the island desperately short of resources.  Malta needs fuel and airplanes.

In London, Churchill decides on a desperate measure. He will send in one last convoy carrying fuel and planes. But the despairing PM knows that there is only one ship available to protect that vital cargo — Britain’s most modern aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal. For two years the Germans have been trying to sink the Ark; by far their most prestigious target.

So the Ark sets off on its last fateful mission, manned by a crew of young sailors straight from the training schools. Will she make it? If she does not, will the Med indeed become ‘Germany's Lake’, as the Führer has boasted?