Home' Ships and Shipping : January 2011 Contents THE LAST OF THE WINDJAMMERS
By BASIL LUBBOCK
In his fifteen books covering the period
from about 1800 to 1930, Basil Lubbock
did a wonderful job of recording the last
days of the sailing ships.
This, his final book of a series of fifteen,
has been made available as part of the full set at a very special
price by Brown, Son & Ferguson. Like the others, it is a classic of
Most of these final ships were iron or steel hulled, three or four
masters. They were elegant, fast and efficient ships but they were
no match for the steamers that gradually replaced them.
In his usual way, the author has collected some excellent
photographs, line plans, general arrangements and rig drawings
along with log extracts and contemporary reports and personal
interviews with masters and crews. Together, this all gives the reader
a very good overview of the world's final commercial sailing ships.
Available from Brown, Son & Ferguson. Glasgow, UK.
MY LIFE BEFORE
AND ON HMS JAMAICA
By DENIS HECKFORD
This seems to be the first of the Korean War
naval memoirs to be produced following a long
stream of mostly good, World War II records.
The author was the gunner responsible for
destroying the first enemy aircraft, a Yak, to be
shot down by any allied ships in that war. He was twenty-two at
A former plumber's apprentice, the author had a fairly dismal
childhood but made the best of it with a combination of native
intelligence and a positive outlook.
He joined the Royal Navy at eighteen and the life suited him
perfectly. He was soon in the Korean War aboard the light cruiser
HMS 'Jamaica'. As he says, "To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the
conflict." That more or less sums up the book. Matter of fact and
down to earth.
A valuable personal history of life on the lower deck in the decade
following the Second World War. A wild boy home from the sea.
Available from Arthur H. Stockwell, Ilfracombe, UK.
The Incredible Ordeal of America's
Submarine POWs during the Pacific War
By STEPHEN L. MOORE
The United States Navy "lost" 52 submarines
in the Pacific during World War Two. Of
those the Japanese only took prisoners from
seven. This is the story of those prisoners.
While the causes of their captivity may have been different,
their experiences of the institutionalised sadism of the Japanese
was probably little different from those of others unfortunate
enough to be prisoners of the Japanese.
Where they did differ, however, was that in many cases the
whereabouts of the imprisoned submariners was unknown. The
clandestine solo nature of their activities led to most missing
submarines and their crews being described as "presumed lost".
The horrors of their captivity and the appalling, inhuman
behaviour of the Japanese are graphically described. The bravery
and endurance of many of the survivors were awe inspiring.
A very good book that contributes significantly both to the
body of military history and to highlighting the disgraceful perfidy
of the Japanese at war.
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
THE ADLARD COLES BOOK OF THE
INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF
COMPETENCE 3rd Edition
By BILL ANDERSON
A succinct little book providing the
questions and answers to the exams for the
International Certificate of Competence.
That is the qualification required by most
European governments to permit skippers to traverse their inland
and some coastal waters.
None of it is difficult and most experienced mariners would almost
instinctively know most of it. However, there are details. These must
be known. That is where this little book provides the answers.
So, if you are planning to enter the inland waterways and
coastal waters of Europe in a vessel of less than 24 metres in
length, you should study this little book.
The very specific signage and rules of the road pertaining to
inland waterways are important and clearly explained here.
All basic but important.
Available from Adlard Coles Nautical, London, UK.
A CENTURY OF CARRIER AVIATION
The Evolution of Ships
and Shipborne Aircraft
By DAVID HOBBS
With the Americans, Russians, British,
Indians, French, Italians, Brazilians and
Chinese all either building or planning
new aircraft carriers, it seems premature to
call the end of the breed.
However, for a number of reasons it appears that the
development of aircraft carriers is now roughly at the same stage as
was the world's fleet of battleships at the start of World War Two.
That is, on the verge of obsolescence. ROVs, UAVs, cruise missiles
and speedy, stealthy, long range submarines seem likely to put
them out of business over the next couple of decades.
It is valuable, therefore, to be presented with this very high
quality record of the development of this very important class of
warship. Well and clearly written and supported with excellent
photographs and drawings, the book has been produced with
knowledge and passion.
The author is a retired carrier pilot of considerable experience.
He is, by the way, more optimistic as to the future development of
aircraft carriers than is your reviewer.
Available from Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK.
SAILING TO SUCCESS
The Union Company Cadet Scheme
By RAE McGREGOR
For a significant part of the last century the
Union Steamship Company of New Zealand
was quite a substantial and well-respected
For a period of 34 years from 1952 it ran
a very successful officer cadet training scheme. All that and the
line itself have, of course, since gone with the wind of corporate
This delightful book concentrates on the good things and the
good times. There is no doubt that the cadet scheme was a success
from the point of view of both the company and the young men
and women who graduated from it.
The author and her publisher have done a fine job of bringing
this valuable venture back to life. Produced some two decades after
the scheme ceased, the book manages to be well balanced,
informative and entertaining in equal measure.
A very well produced and important history.
Available from the New Zealand Ship and Marine Society, PO Box 5104,
Wellington 6145, New Zealand.
January 2011 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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