THE men of a Harwich-based naval strike force which battled its way through the First World War are finally being recognised in a new book.

Historian Steve Dunn wanted to tell the men's forgotten story of how they fought on the frontline of Britain's defence in the new book The Harwich Striking Force.

The force pioneered naval carrier aviation and attack, developed a type of hydroplane vessel and mounted air-sea combined operations. 

Mr Dunn said little has been written about their contributions, so he decided to give them a more appropriate dedication. 

"What stands out about these men is their uncomplaining devotion to the duty," he said.

"They coped with the daily perils as they fought and died to ensure that Britain retained sovereignty of the seas.

"Their work was not glamorous. It was a tough, grinding life where any success was hard won and the slightest misjudgment might have meant the loss of ships or lives."

The book, Mr Dunn's eleventh, sees him combine first-hand accounts with in-depth research to create a powerful narrative around the force's actions.

He said the book is a testament to the sacrifice and the grit of the Harwich-based men and the key part they played in the winning the war.