Home' Work Boat World : November 2015 Contents RE-INVENTING THE SHIP
Science, Technology and the Maritime
Edited by DON LEGGETT
AND RICHARD DUNN
Given the rapid changes in technology,
doctrine and strategy that are currently
affecting modern na vies and the politicians
who direct them, this fascinating little book provides a
welcome return to reality through history.
Based on a series of ten high quality papers delivered at a
History of Science conference at Oxford in 2008, they have been
edited and re-ordered so as to present a largely “united front” on
this increasingly important subject. Taking a multidisciplinary
approach, the authors, who are a good mix of academic and naval,
have produced a thought-provoking result.
Their focus, as the sub-title makes clear, is on the dramatic
developments in naval technology, culture and doctrine that took
place during the nineteenth century. They also cite similar
developments in commercial shipping and its crossover to naval
operations in shipbuilding and organisation. We can still learn a
lot from the “longest” century.
A very useful aide memoire for anyone engaged in the maritime
world in both the commercial and naval arenas whether they are
at a senior level or aspiring to get there.
Available from Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, UK.
PREPARING FOR BLOCKADE
Naval Contingency for
By STEPHEN COBB
The First World War was, in a naval sense,
much more interesting and important than
many current commentators and even historians accord it credit.
While the outbreak of war may have come as a shock to
many British and mainland European people, it was far from
unexpected to senior politicians and military thinkers . I ndeed,
in many ways, B ritish naval brains had been thinking about and
preparing for it for a century.
The War of 1812 against the United States was a great
preparatory exercise for the World War One naval blockade of
Germany and its allies. In fact from as far back as 1887, the Royal
Navy had been liaising closely with Britain’s premier shipowners
about the provision of “armed merchant cruisers” aka passenger
liners to augment the RN fleet in the event of major war. This
policy continued until the Falkland War in the 1980s.
So, in 1914 the Royal Navy was relatively well prepared for
effective action against the German Navy and its allies. These
erstwhile passenger liners were not just intended to be troop
ships. They performed that role well but they were also used
effectively as “armed merchant cruisers”.
This fine book, however, focuses on changes to naval culture
and the rise in importance of naval intelligence as the war drew
closer. The Naval Intelligence Department was led and staffed by
officers of notably superior personal intelligence and this, the
author contends, led to impressive outcomes. Basically these
officers were predominantly well-rounded, well-educated and
well-travelled thinkers who also tended to be multi-lingual (is
the modern US Navy reading this?).
An interesting review and analysis of the factors that led to
the impressive success of “the blockade”, it provides
considerable food for thought for modern naval thinkers. A
contrarian approach is often difficult to have implemented but
is well worth thinking about in any wartime situation.
Available from Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, UK.
Web: www.a shgate.com
WOMEN AND ENGLISH PIRACY
Partners and Victims of Crime
By JOHN C. APPLEBY
This is the third book on this subject that has
crossed the desk of your reviewer over the years. He
cannot really understand the fascination with it.
Perhaps it is an attempt to show that feminism is
not really a new concept.
Whatever, it is apparent from this and the other books that piracy
had its attractions as an occupation for certain women in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some, probably unsurprisingly,
turned out to be quite good at it.
Although written by an historian, this book takes a somewhat
sociological view of the subject as the book’s sub-title makes clear.
Judging from his bibliography he has read and researched widely and
acquired a good feeling for his subject.
It seems that many pirates were married or in long term
relationships which usually meant that their activities became family
businesses. Many women, obviously, became involved because of
poverty and others, perhaps, for adventure.
This is a wide-ranging book culturally, geographically, racially,
historically and, of course, in terms of criminology. It’s a very
interesting subject that the author brings to life very effectively.
Available from Boydell Press, Woodbridge, UK.
Explorer & Polymath
By EDWARD DUYKER
A vast and comprehensive work concluding with
six undoubtedly well-deserved pages of
acknowledgements, this biography of France’s
“Capitaine Cook”, Jules-Sebastien-Cesar Dumont
d’Urville, is a beautifully presented epic of exploration, discovery
Born after Cook’s death and commencing his career after the
other famed French Indo-Pacific explorers such as D’Entrecasteaux,
La Perouse, Baudin and Bougainville, Dumont d’Urville may well
have wondered if there was anything left to explore. Needless to say,
his energy and curiosity inspired a host of invaluable explorations
Dying with his wife and son in what was, until then, the world’s
worst train crash, at the tragically young age of 52, Dumont d’Urville
accomplished much. Fortunately for history and readers of this book,
his papers, charts, plans, memoirs and other documentation were
collected and preserved immediately following his death.
The author has brilliantly utilised those and other documents to
record the important and fascinating life of this vitally important
explorer who achieved so much.
Available from University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, USA
Web: www.uhpress.hawaii.edu" www.uhpress.hawaii.edu
THE CHEMICAL TANKER REGISTER 2015
Edited by Clarkson Research Services
Who ever would have thought that there are
4,400 vessels in the global chemical tanker fleet.
They range in size from 1,000 to more than
40,000 metric tonnes DWT. There may well be
more vessels of smaller size but Clarksons’
records only cover those larger than 1,000DWT.
Who, also, would ever have thought of the range of different
kinds of chemical tankers? There are ships to carry wine,
methanol, asphalt and bitumen, fruit juice, molten sulphur, edible
oils, slops, waste, phosphoric acid, sulphuric acid, palm oil and
much more. A fascinating sub-group of the world’s tanker fleet.
This incredibly extensively researched book – and its
accompanying CD – provide its reader with both a detailed
insight and an extensive overview of this vital sector of the
shipping industry .
Starting with a review of the state-of-play of the sector, the
content advances through statistical tables and coatings guides to
a detailed glossary and particulars of all vessels. There is also a list
of owners and there fleets plus an owner contact directory.
Anyone with any interest whatsoever in chemical tankers
cannot afford not to own this one.
Available from Clarkson Research Services, London, UK
56 November 2015 WORK BOAT WORLD
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