Home' Ships and Shipping : June 2011 Contents THE FOURTH FORCE
The Untold Story of the Royal Fleet
Auxiliary Since 1945
By GEOFF PUDDEFOOT
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is in effect the
logistics arm of Britain's Royal Navy.
Because of that, it is also a major
contributor to the offshore activities of
both the Royal Air Force and the British Army.
Its role, as the author explains, has changed dramatically since
the end of the Second World War. Its importance and the size and
capability of its ships have grown dramatically.
The RFA is now a vital component of all British Ministry of
Defence activities. It is very much a 'Fourth Force".
The author explains why and how this has happened. This is an
excellent history of the RFA as well as providing a clear and
concise overview of the RFA as it is today.
Available from Seaforth Publishing. Barnsley, UK.
ECDIS AND POSITIONING
INTEGRATED BRIDGE SYSTEMS Vol 2
By DR ANDY NORRIS
Most readers of this review will be well
aware of the concept and reality of radar
assisted accidents. The same applies to GPS
Of course, when you combine such
electronic navigation tools into complex
integrated bridge systems you can significantly increase the risk of
such accidents. This is particularly so if you don't know what you
This crisply written, clear and well-illustrated book helps the
reader to know what he or she is doing with such equipment. It is
both a SWOT analysis of such systems and a very useful manual
explaining how to get the best out of them.
Yet another excellent professional mariners text from The
Available from The Nautical Institute. London, UK.
A History in Art & Photography
Edited by ANDREW LAMBERT
A big, lavishly produced and
most interesting history of the ship
that covers three millennia from
'Noah's Ark' to the 'HMS Queen
Elizabeth', a Royal Navy aircraft carrier
that is a long way from launching.
As can be expected from its publisher, Conway Maritime, one of
the world's leading producers of maritime books, the quality of
content, editing and presentation are all first rate.
It could, as you would expect from a compendium of this type,
be criticised on a number of grounds. First, because of its omission
of a number of important vessels. And, secondly, for being
somewhat over English-centric.
Impressive modern ships such as offshore service vessels, fast
ferries and large tankers, container ships and bulkers seem to have
been neglected in favour of yachts and some not terribly
significant modern warships.
That aside, the book is still inspiring, interesting and important.
It provides a valuable record of some mostly very significant ships.
Available from Conway Maritime, London, UK.
Web: www.conwaypublishing.com or from Capricorn Link,
Windor, Australia. Web: www.capricornlink.com.au
NORTH AFRICAN WATERS
OCTOBER 1942-JUNE 1943
History of United States Naval
Operations in World War II -- Volume 2
By SAMUEL ELIOT MORISON
Fortunately re-published by The Naval
Institute Press recently, this important
history is now available in convenient paper back form, all
fifteen volumes of it!
This vital invasion of French North Africa as part of Operation
Torch represented the first large-scale Allied invasion of that war.
In effect it signalled the beginning of the turn around in Allied
fortunes. It was also the first ever large-scale amphibious invasion.
Conducted against a fascinating historical backdrop and involving
personnel from the British, American, French, Dutch and other Allied
forces, it made "stars" of the likes of Generals Dwight Eisenhower and
George Patton and Admirals Hewitt, Hall and Cunningham.
The battleground covered a thousand miles of the north African
coast and raged against Axis forces comprising German, Italian
and Vichy French elements. The variety of vessels, aircraft and
vehicles involved was enormous as were the numbers of
personnel. An amazingly successful co-operation.
Available from The Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
By MILES COWSILL, JOHN HENDY
& LAWRENCE MacDUFF
The funny little fleet of 27 Ro-Pax
ferries that service Scotland's Western Isles are not only a
means of transport but a tourist attraction in their own right.
Importantly, these little ships also provide the lifeblood or at
least a lifeline to the few widely scattered people who inhabit
those remote and bleak islands.
Through bad weather and, rarely, good. Despite industrial strife
and other difficulties, they provide a dependable and reasonably
This little (appropriately) book is apparently mainly intended as
a souvenir to be sold aboard Cal Mac's vessels. In its 44 very well
illustrated pages it provides an excellent overview of the company
and its fleet.
Available from Ferry Publications. Narberth, UK.
INTERNATIONAL YEARBOOK 2011
Edited by JANE DEGERLAND
Now in its 42nd year this massive,
840-page, A4 hardbound book is packed
with almost everything you need to know
about the global container shipping
industry. It comes with a CD of its
Every issue of the book contains more data and useful
information than its predecessors. The 2011 edition has contact
details on 5,000 companies. It has specifications on 9,800
container-carrying ships and details on over 600 ports and 760
terminals as well as 434 Liner operators in 172 trades.
In other words, it is a massive mine of information. It even
includes a very good overview of the economic performance of the
container sector through 2010.
All of this comes at considerable cost in terms of trees, ink and
the freight involved in delivering this massive tome to readers
around the world. It is high time the book was made as a web only
publication. That way it could be updated every working day and
so be more useful and help to save our planet.
Available from Containerisation International, London, UK.
June 2011 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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