top of page

Sinking a Modern Warship
with a Disguised Q-ship... Possible?

(Egg Breaker War)


In Code Name Phoenix, we deal with the idea of sinking a modern warship with a converted Q-ship, using a combination of automatic anti-aircraft cannon, a field gun and MANPAD missiles against any air counter-attack.

Although not unknown in history, we can think of several Q-ships and we discuss their history in the book, this has not been done in decades. However, it can be done, I am sure. The idea is to get close and to open up with devastating effect, using a mixture of high explosives, armour piercing, incendiary and depleted uranium shells to take out the vital parts of the ship; the bridge, the aircraft hangar and above all, the CIWS system along with the main deck gun.

The lack of armour on modern ships will be to your advantage but you better swamp her defensive and offensive systems or she will retaliate most violently.

Q-ships, by their very nature also have no armour and the weapon systems are very much homemade affairs. Then, you will need some kind of a maskirovka, a deception plan to get the warship to meet you and at the same time be relaxed enough to approach inside gun range. You also need to be sure to sink any approaching rubber duck or small boat wanting to board and especially be able to defeat any airborne assault. Once you have done this, you may have crippled the warship, her vital parts below the waterline will not be damaged unless you have a torpedo or plunging shells which is impossible at short range unless using heavy mortars. The best you can hope for is to start an uncontrollable fire.

It is never easy to completely destroy a warship and escaping afterwards is virtually impossible. Her sister ships will come after you with a vengeance and airstrikes will be after you, if not surface-to-surface missiles - exactly what happens in the follow-up book, Code Name Lise.

I had experienced naval commanders look at this book and asked them: “Is the theme ridiculous? The idea of a Q-ship up against a modern warship and being able to sink her?” Much to my surprise, they replied: “No, it is very possible, it may well happen in the future as terrorism evolves but there is a dreadful amount of ‘ifs’ involved...” The reasons why they said so, are in the book.

This is important as a subject as it is a matter of time before we have another USS Cole type of incident or an outright attack taking place. Ships, even modern powerful large warships are vulnerable to terrorism because such an attack is not expected nor are they trained to deal with such incidents. The relatively relaxed atmosphere surrounding navies with only a few light manned machine guns will one-day cause tragedy. This is no longer good enough. If I had to attack a warship in the open waters, not anchored somewhere, this book describes how I would do it and I would succeed.


Major Geoffrey Foxtrot, a former South African Police Special Forces Company Commander, under command of Angelique Dawson, his wife and former South African Secret Service Head of Counter-terrorism and Counter-Espionage, is on his way south with an old commercial vessel, the EBS Orlando, converted as a Q-ship. He has orders  to ambush and destroy a new South African Navy frigate which is preventing Royal Navy nuclear submarines from recovering SAS & SEAL snatch teams.

That frigate is not about to surrender easily and is well armed. He will need to get close and strike first or die. An epic gun battle is sure to follow.

Angelique Dawson, now pregnant with her and Foxtrot’s twins, and acting as Egg Breaker Commander, (this is after her defection in 2012 or Code Name VFO565), is shot whilst rescuing one of her security team members during an ambush...

If you wish to read about covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about covert operations, Special Forces techniques and military history not known outside the select few.

Code Name Phoenix is book 3 in the popular GMJ Series.

bottom of page