Home' Ships and Shipping : September 2009 Contents EMPIRES IN THE BALANCE
Japanese and Allied Pacific Strategies.
To April 1942
By H.P. WILLMOTT
Originally published in 1982, this is the first
volume of a trilogy covering the strategic
policies of the countries involved in the
Pacific theatre of World War II. It has
recently been re-released in paperback.
The author made a particularly probing analysis of Japan's
strategies. As a result it fairly and objectively gives credit to Japan's
successes where it is due.
Essentially, he corrected and broadened the view of the war in
the Pacific theatre. He moved on from a narrow, nationalistic view
to one that encompassed the policies and activities of all
significant participating nations. He examines the conventional
wisdom on the War and turns much of it on its head.
A cold, hard analysis of the realities of the first few years of the
Available from Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA. Web: www.nip.org
HANDBOOK FOR SAILORS
By ROBERTO RITOSSA
Yet another good book produced for
yachtsmen which is just as useful for
The publisher Imray Laurie Norie and
Wilson is renowned for its "Pilots" that so well
describe a large slice of the 70% of the world that is covered by
water. This comprehensive guide supplements the Mediterranean
pilots very well.
Without becoming overly technical, this book provides a
substantial weather forecasting background for anyone navigating
the Mediterranean or nearby waters.
Simple, clear and very easy to use.
Available from Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, St Ives, UK.
HANDLING SHIPS IN ICE
A practical guide to handling Class
1A and IAS ships
By CAPTAIN JOHAN BUYSSE, MASTER
MARINER, MSc (Nautical) MNI
The current awakening of interest in sailing
through ice is partly a result of global
warming and partly due to other factors such
as the development of oil and mineral deposits in the Arctic.
Increasingly, cargo and passenger vessels and OSVs are being
built to ice class. As with so many shipping sectors this is
highlighting the major shortage that exists of experienced ice
Surprisingly, also, the author discovered in his preliminary
research, that little had been published on the subject. In its usual
practical and sensible way, the Nautical Institute has put this right.
The author has ice-handling experience in command of both
passenger and cargo ships. He has sailed in both the North Atlantic
and the Baltic in ice. This book is a distillation of that experience.
Simply and clearly presented, it is also very well and extensively
illustrated in the usual inimitable Nautical Institute manner.
Available from The Nautical Institute Press, London, UK.
BIG GUN MONITORS
Design, Construction and
By IAN BUXTON
The author is a literate naval architect who
also happens to be an enthusiastic and
accomplished maritime historian. His coverage of the short
period of influence of the big gun monitors is fascinating.
Monitors are simple craft designed to provide more fire power
per tonne of displacement than any other warship. Basically, they
comprised one huge gun mounted on an armoured self-propelled
pontoon. Their main role was in heavy shore bombardment.
Following the design concept of the American Civil War ship
USS 'Monitor', the nineteenth century versions were larger,
heavier and vastly more complex. All had a single turret with
either one or two large guns. Some were fitted with additional,
smaller guns and some carried observation seaplanes.
Slow, ponderous and poorly protected against air attack, the
monitors were not notable contributors to the Allied victory in
World War II. They were nevertheless unusual and fascinating
craft. This fine book describes them well.
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
By NICKY ALLARDICE
A very recent 2007 cruising guide or pilot to
this most interesting part of the world.
Probably thanks to Bram Stoker and his
Dracula and the myths of Transylvania, the
region described has a dark and mysterious
reputation. It is, in fact, thanks to constant wars and migration, a
very cosmopolitan place.
It is also, despite its recent connection with the EU, a very poor
part of the world. It is only just emerging now from the dead hand
of forty-five years or so of communism.
This makes it particularly interesting as does its bisection by the
mighty Danube and its position on the Black Sea coast. All of this
is brilliantly, if briefly, described in this very up-to-date and high
quality cruising guide.
Available from Imray Laurie Norie and Wilson, Huntingdon, UK.
CRISIS AT SEA
The United States Navy in European
Waters in World War I
By WILLIAM N. STILL Jr
A massive, intensively researched book on a
most interesting subject -- the effective
international "coming out" of the United
As is well known, the United States was a reluctant late comer
to the First World War. Its participation, though, undoubtedly
improved the Allied prospects of victory.
Much less is known of the role of the US Navy than of the
American Expeditionary Force on land or even of the romantic
antics of America's fighter pilots. This fine book re-balances the
accounts so to speak.
The author is a respected and widely published maritime
history academic. He looks at all aspects of the US Navy's
participation in the war and particularly the political.
The First World War was an intensely educational experience
for the US Navy and its political masters. It was a major
contributor to its readiness for the Second World War and its
significant success there.
Available from University Press of Florida, Gainesville, USA.
September 2009 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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