Home' Ships and Shipping : December 2010 Contents VOYAGES, THE AGE OF SAIL
American Maritime History
Volume 1, 1492-1865
By JOSHUA M. SMITH
and the NATIONAL MARITIME
A very valuable and useful pair of books
covering American maritime history from Columbus to the
present. Volume 1 covers the period to the end of the “Civil War”.
The author and his colleagues have done a wonderful job of
searching out and compiling a very important collection of obvious
and not so obvious documents of American maritime history.
It is a most comprehensive, illuminating and instructive
compilation. They cover almost every imaginable aspect of maritime
history from exploration to war via whaling, fishing, labour, trade,
travel, naval architecture, shipbuilding and the marine environment.
While originally produced as text books, they have far wider
appeal than that. They can genuinely be read purely for pleasure.
Available from University Press of Florida, Gainesville, USA.
THE BLACKWALL FRIGATES
By BASIL LUBBOCK
Another Lubbock classic of nineteenth
century maritime history. This is one of
fifteen Lubbock books being offered at a
very generous price.
As with all the Lubbock books, it covers a
lot of ground. The Blackwall Frigates were
the connecting link between the East
Indiamen of the eighteenth century and the P&O liners of the
twentieth. They were high quality, well run ships.
They were certainly not clippers but many were fast,
nevertheless. The author describes them as good, all rounders.
Designed and built for the England to India trades, many also,
participated in the wool and gold trade to Port Phillip and Sydney.
The author describes a large number of very useful and
profitable ships. They were wonderful training ships for their
midshipmen because they were managed “man-o -war” fashion.
A delight to read.
Available from Brown, Son & Ferguson. Glasgow. UK.
GMDSS A USER’S HANDBOOK
By DENISE BRÉHAUT
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety
System (GMDSS) has now pretty much
come of age. It is the universally
mandated and acceptable means of calling
for assistance from anywhere at sea.
All passenger vessels of any size on
international voyages and all vessels over 300GRT must be fitted
with GMDSS capable equipment. Smaller vessels, of course, may be
Depending on operational areas, vessels are required to carry VHF,
MF or HF radios or INMARSAT telephone. All must carry EPIRBs.
This simply and clearly presented book explains all such
technical matters and gives details of the operator examinations
and the material required to pass them. It also carefully presents
and explains all the currently available equipment required for
The author knows her subject and explains it with the
Available from Adlard Coles Nautical London, UK.
DECIPHERING THE RISING SUN
Navy and Marine Corps
Codebreakers, Translators, and
Interpreters in the Pacific War
By ROGER DINGMAN
A fascinating book with an even more
At the start of the Second World War
almost no one in the Allied forces spoke read or understood
Japanese. Similarly, very few had even the remotest idea of
Given the old and valuable theory of “know thine enemy” this
rather put the American and other forces at a disadvantage.
However, as with so many other aspects of that magnificent war
effort, a useful group of US military personnel were trained as
Japanese language officers.
They performed an extremely valuable service. They
contributed considerably to the Allied victory. Interestingly,
though, many of them became thoroughly absorbed in Japanese
culture. Many used their wartime skills to provide very interesting
post war careers.
Available from The Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
The Ocean Princesses
By NICK TOLERTON
Mostly graceful and often having white
painted topsides and superstructures,
reefer, or refrigerated, ships have been
with us for more than a century. They
have been impressive sights.
When first introduced they represented one of the major
breakthroughs or revolutions in world shipping. The ability to safely
and reliably carry perishable cargoes of meat, fruit and fish, for
example, made a big improvement to world trade.
Today, of course, with reefer “plugs” fitted to most container
ships, reefers are becoming less common as a class. Some of the
older smaller ships are still serving in specialised trades such as
carrying fish caught off Africa to Asia for processing.
Aided by a large number of very good photographs, the author,
who is obviously a reefer “tragic”, has done maritime history a
very good service. His recording of this inevitably fading breed of
ships is valuable.
Available from Ships in Focus, Preston, UK. Web: www.willsonscott.biz
DEVILS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA
The Dreams, Schemes and
Showdowns That Built America’s
By KRISTOFFER A. GARIN
The tale of the rapid rise to power and
wealth of America’s, and the world’s, two
largest cruise lines!
Evolving from the slipshod, unsavoury antics of a family of
Canadian opportunists, and Norwegian and Israeli “entrepreneurs”,
Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean now dominate the global
Tax paying and pollution control have, among other aspects of
the business, been generally regarded as optional. The industry has
risen far and fast by never over-estimating the taste of the
Their tacky ships wander the world, particularly the
long-suffering Caribbean, trailing long plumes of sulphurous
smoke. They do, however, seem to satisfactorily entertain their
passengers who continue to queue up for more. They obviously
know their market and serve it well.
This is a detailed story of a very unattractive industry run by
equally unattractive people. The image and the reality of the
business, it can be seen here, are dramatically different.
Available from Plume, New York, USA. Web: www.penguin.com
December 2010 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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