The Real X-Men: The Heroic Story of the Underwater War 1942-1945
The thrilling and true story of the development and operational deployment of human torpedoes - 'Chariots' - and 'X-craft' midget submarines in British naval service during WWII, and of the extraordinary men who crewed these dangerous vessels. The commando frogmen who rode the Chariots and operated as divers from the X-craft were the forerunners of today's Special Boat Service, the SBS. Their aim was to attach an explosive charge underneath an enemy ship to destroy the vessel. Their hope was to return to their submarine unscathed. X-Men tells the story of the sacrifice and heroism of the individual men, many of them little more than teenagers, who volunteered for this dangerous duty and who crewed both the Chariots and the X-craft without knowing the full extent of the risks entailed, nor indeed the very small chances they had of coming back alive.
Robert Lyman is a respected military history specialist and his previous books include The Longest Siege: Tobruk and the Battle for Africa and Slim, Master of War. He lives in Berkshire, England.