Captain William Richmond FELL CMG CBE DSC RN

Born1897 Wellington, New Zealand
Died1981 New Zealand
FatherDr Walter FELL (1855 – 1932)
MotherMargaret (Margie) RICHMOND (1857 – 1933)
OccupationDistinguished Naval Officer. Educated at Wellington College, New Zealand, Crediton Grammar School, Devon and the Royal Naval Engineering College, Keyham.

Biography and Notes

Author of 'The Sea our Shield'.

"Go away and build me a human torpedo"; an exacting task, one would think, even for a man with over twenty years' service in submarines behind him. Yet within six months Captain Fell had not only produced such a weapon, but also trained his volunteers to operational pitch. A month later The Chariot, as it came to be called, was sent against the colossus of the German Navy, the Tirpitz, in her maritime fortress on the Norwegian coast. From its humble, even comic beginnings, as a mechanical tree trunk in an indoor tank, developed by imagination and by information obtained from Italian prisoners of war, the Chariot became a dangerous weapon.

The long and ultimately successful campaign to eliminate the Tirpitz as a fighting ship was for Captain Fell the highlight of a remarkable and varied wartime career in the Navy. In this book he has told the full story of that career, from its beginnings on U-boat patrol off the Irish coast to the final defeat of Japan in the Pacific. His more sensational exploits included the hazardous evacuation of troops from Norway in a fleet of unarmed fishing boats, and a truly horrific attempt to sail a 6,000-ton fireship into Boulogne. But this is essentially the story of the development and operation of the human torpedo and of its rival and ultimate successor, the midget submarine. The patience and ingenuity with which these weapons were perfected, and the many dangers involved in their use, make Captain Fell's latest book one of the most memorable personal narratives of the last war.

Published 1966.

Life Events

1921Married Phyllis MUNDAY in (Diss)
1932Death of father Dr Walter FELL
1933Death of mother Margaret (Margie) RICHMOND

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