Maritime Strike

The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011

John Kingwell

The first account of the Royal Naval Task Group's contribution to Libya and of Maritime Strike, written by the Commander United Kingdom Task Group.
Publication date:
June 2022
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
20 photographs
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781636241135

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
In Stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


• The first account of the RN Task Group's contribution to Libya and of Maritime Strike
• Of interest to anyone interested in the modern Royal Navy and UK Defence, recent naval history and the development of Naval and Army aviation
• A story of leadership under pressure and the remarkable professionalism of all involved

In April 2011, the newly created Royal Navy Response Force Task Group deployed to the Mediterranean to provide a range of military options in response to the Arab Spring. For the next six months the group planned and prepared for a range of potential operations including noncombatant evacuations from Libya, Yemen and Syria, maritime interdiction operations off the Libyan coast, and amphibious landings.

On 3 June the group began launching attack helicopter strikes into Libya and in the nights that followed planned 47 and executed 22 strikes destroying a range of targets including: 54 vehicles, 2 rigid hull boats, 2 BM 21 rocket launchers, 4 main battle tanks, 1 zsu antiaircraft vehicle and 3 command and control nodes. The operation saw the first operational use of Apaches from the sea and the first embarkation of US Army combat search and rescue teams and Blackhawk helicopters in an RN warship.

This is a personal account by the Group's Commander, which brings to life the challenges of command - including authorizing strikes and mitigating risk to UK aircrew - in a complex and challenging environment. It reveals how closely the RN Group worked with its French counterpart, the support provided by the United States, together with the complexity of working alongside NATO and of simultaneously dealing with a range of UK authorities.

This is a story of leadership under pressure and the remarkable professionalism of all involved and the bravery of Army aircrew. It was modern defence and joinery at its best - British Army and USAF helicopters operating from RN ships, supported by Fleet Air Arm aircraft and fixed wing jets as part of a largely air campaign.


John Kingwell is not only an accomplished sailor, he is a man with a special gift as a recaller of the mood, moment and broader context that went into the making of an extraordinary episode.

In these pages you are back with him in the Mediterranean in 2011.

Maritime Strike has a bonus to offer - a fascinating story of the progress of a working-class lad to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy.

Peter Hennessy of Nympsfield

Maritime Strike provides an excellent, highly readable account both of UK maritime operations off Libya in 2011 and the author's career, from a working-class entrant at Dartmouth through to Rear Admiral commanding the Royal Navy's principal task group. Moreover, John Kingwell sheds light on the responsibilities of command and leadership, including the burden of placing service personnel in harm's way. This book will greatly appeal and is highly recommended.
Naval Review