The best way to change into a army spy diver by Norfolk ex-Navy author

How do you prepare for one of the crucial harmful jobs on the planet and what’s ‘hell week’? 

Former Royal Marines commando Michael Welham, of Costessey, close to Norwich, was a army diver, and has spent greater than 30 years researching particular forces divers around the globe. 

These are the ‘elite inside an elite’ who’ve first been chosen for a army unit, then recruited and skilled as fight divers. 

Their duties embody clearing underwater mines, finishing up underwater demolition and assaults on ships, and arriving unseen and unheard for coastal reconnaissance or sabotage missions.  

Michael had needed to be a army diver since childhood. 

His father took him to a Royal Navy open day the place he noticed a diving demonstration, together with a mock assault on a mannequin ship in a swimming pool. “The mine connected, the diver swum away earlier than the ship blew up. There have been no bubbles from the diver and out of doors of the clear water of the pool there can be no indication {that a} diver was current. From that day that’s what I needed to do,” mentioned Michael. 

Eastern Daily Press:

He joined the Royal Marines within the 60s and skilled in fight canoeing and parachuting in addition to diving.  He additionally labored for the SAS and Commando Naval Gunfire Help. After leaving full-time service he joined specialist reserve items in addition to working as a diver and dive supervisor within the offshore oil and fuel trade around the globe. 

Michael then started researching the historical past of army diving, realising that earlier books had centered on the Second World Struggle. His first e-book, Fight Frogmen, was printed in 1989 and he went on to put in writing Frogman Spy concerning the mysterious disappearance of Royal Navy diver Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb, despatched by MI6 to spy on a Soviet cruiser in Portsmouth Harbour which had introduced Soviet head of state Nikita Khrushchev to Britain. Crabb disappeared in the course of the mission to acquire info on the Russian ship. A headless, handless corpse was found and buried together with his identify on the gravestone, however controversy raged over whether or not it was the lacking spy diver.  

Michael’s newest e-book, Fight Divers: An illustrated historical past of particular forces divers, options fight items around the globe, together with British, Ukrainian, Russian, German, Australian and Filipino army divers, over a timescale from the Second World Struggle by means of the Chilly Struggle and, coming proper updated, revealing how Ukrainian divers prepare with US divers. 

Eastern Daily Press:

Eastern Daily Press:

“With creating world occasions some international locations pulled out,” he mentioned. “If in case you have a extremely skilled elite army pressure in a position to function unseen and unheard, producing devastating penalties for the opponent, conserving your info shut is paramount.” 

He mentioned he’s all the time cautious to not give away confidential info however revealed: “Ukrainian particular forces fight divers, whereas remaining a closed topic, do share little snippets of operations.  

“They’re past a formidable pressure and are combating for his or her homeland and their very existence. In the event that they lose the warfare who’s subsequent?” 

In addition to drawing on his personal intensive diving expertise he contains first-hand accounts from his friends and options the pioneering roles of the primary feminine fight divers. 

Many fight dive items around the globe mannequin their coaching on the US Navy SEALS (Sea, Air, and Land Groups) the place the regime contains ‘hell week’ with recruits finishing up missions, raids, endurance races in sand, surf and dust with minimal sleep.  

Michael mentioned essentially the most tough a part of fight dive coaching was beginning it – and one of the best was ending. “It’s thoughts over matter,” he mentioned.  

He started writing about fight divers as a approach of bringing their highly-skilled hidden work some recognition as they will appear overshadowed by different army items and he enjoys linking up with army divers around the globe to analysis tasks. 

Fight Divers: An illustrated historical past of particular forces divers, by Michael G Welham is printed by Osprey Publishing.



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