'When I got to the ship's side, there seemed to be quite a fair crowd, and they didn't appear to be very anxious to take to the water. I called out to them, "Come on you chaps, who's coming for a swim?" Someone answered, "She will float for a long time yet," but something, I don't pretend to know what it was, seemed to be urging me to get away, so I clambered over the slimy bilge keel and fell off into the water, followed I should think by about five more men. I struck away from the ship as hard as I could and must have covered nearly fifty yards when there was a big smash, and stopping and looking round, the air seemed to be full of fragments and flying pieces.
'A large piece seemed to be right above my head, and acting on impulse, I dipped under to avoid being struck, and stayed under as long as I could, and then came to the top again, and coming behind me I heard a rush of water, which looked very like surf breaking on a beach and I realized it was the suction or backwash from the ship which had just gone. I hardly had time to fill my lungs with air when it was on me. I felt it was no use struggling against it, so I let myself go for a moment or two, then I struck out, but I felt it was a losing game and remarked to myself, "What's the use of you struggling, you're done," and I actually ceased my efforts to reach the top, when a small voice seemed to say, "Dig out."'
--P.O. Ernest Francis, HMS Queen Mary
Grand Fleets is a comprehensive miniatures game of dreadnought-era naval warfare. In addition to rules for everything from ships to aeroplanes, Zeppelins to submarines, the rulebook includes:
*Data cards for over 120 ships, plus guidelines for converting any ship of the period to game values;
*Eight scenarios encompassing conflicts from the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 through the opening salvoes of World War Two, including several variants;
*Fifteen pages of weapon data, covering all major gun and torpedo models in use through 1939, over 200 aeroplanes, and more than 20 airships; and
*Optional rules for flotillas, night-fighting, smokescreens, and more!