Home' Work Boat World : November 2009 Contents THE BATTLECRUISER HMS HOOD
An illustrated Biography 1916-1941
By BRUCE TAYLOR
Designed and laid down in 1916 in the
middle of World War I, 'HMS Hood' was
commissioned in March 1920. On May 24,
1941, two years into World War II, she
was sunk in action against the German ships 'Bismarck' and
Those are the bold facts of this incredibly detailed history that
fills in all the possible gaps. Even the 99 per cent of her company
of 1,421 men, who were lost with her, are listed in full.
When commissioned, 'Hood' was widely recognised as the
"greatest warship" ever built. The powerful 'Hood' in many ways
inspired her nemesis the 'Bismarck'. Despite her power, 'Hood' was
inadequately armoured. This was known but never corrected and
led, ultimately, to her demise.
Magnificently illustrated and packed with anecdotes and facts
this first rate history brings a very famous ship vividly to life.
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
Edited by ROD HEIKELL
and LUCINDA MICHELL
Rod Heikell, particularly, needs no
introduction here. Nor does his publisher
Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson.
This very useful book complements the
numerous other Heikell authored Imray
Laurie published pilots that cover most of the Mediterranean Sea.
Your reviewer has used several of them and found them
This fine addition to any Mediterranean voyager's library
simply updates and expands the information contained in the
other books. Combined, the localised pilots and this generalised
almanac provide an almost unbelievably vast amount of very
In fact Mediterranean mariners are almost spoilt for choice. Mr
Heikell and Ms Michell have done an enormous amount of
research that has been beautifully presented. It can even be
updated between editions from the publisher's website.
Whatever your vessel, commercial, government or leisure,
enjoy the luxury of this almanac even if you are only dreaming
about time in the Med. If you are definitely going to voyage there,
buy a copy immediately.
Available from Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, St Ives, UK.
A personal odyssey
By CAPTAIN IAN TEW
Describing the decade the author spent
working as a salvage master for the once
great Selco Salvage from 1974, the book
initially focuses on Asia. It expands to
describe his adventures as a global
roaming salvage master/consultant.
Fortunately, and somewhat unusually, Captain Tew took or
obtained a large number of very good photographs. They and a
first rate painting really enhance this book.
Salvage has become a rather romantic topic over the years,
perhaps because of its rescue connotations. It is a risky business that
can, sometimes, be very rewarding in both experience and treasure.
From a very lengthy seafaring background, the author took to a
maritime career naturally. He naturally gravitated toward smaller
vessels especially tugs. His sense of adventure obviously drew him
to the fascinating world of salvage.
He has done a great job describing his salvage odyssey. A very
personal approach but one that brilliantly describes a great life
Available from Seafarer Books, Rendlesham, UK.
The Three Days of Tarawa
By COL. JOSEPH H. ALEXANDER,
Tarawa, a chain of atolls in the Central
Pacific, was the scene of the first
significant amphibious assault of the
Pacific War. The lessons learned there led
the American forces on to future
amphibious successes in the north Pacific and Normandy.
A bloody three-day engagement over an area of 300 acres of
practically flat, sandy land, the assault killed 6,000 men. Of
these, 4,500 comprised the Japanese defenders who were
A lot of things went wrong from the perspectives of both
attackers and defenders. In the end it was sheer force of manpower
combined with grim determination that saw the Americans
victorious. The Japanese literally fought to the last man.
Tarawa enhanced the image and confidence of the US Marine
Corps at just the right time. It acquired an aura of invincibility at
Tarawa that it carried right through to the battle of Iwo Jima.
A thorough and clear account of a vital battle.
Available from Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA. Web: www.nip.org
THE YACHTSMAN'S PILOT
The Isle of Mull and adjacent
coasts -- Third Edition
By MARTIN LAWRENCE
Don't be put off by the title. While its
primary focus may be on the yachtsman,
this pilot, like all the others from Imray
Laurie, is just as useful to the commercial
and military mariner.
The Isle of Mull, off Scotland's west coast is a mystical romantic
place, or so they say. This reviewer would not really know as the
only time he has been there it was bathed in brilliant sunshine.
Whatever, this highly refined pilot brings the area to life
brilliantly. Its photographs, of which there are many good ones,
must also have benefitted from a lot of sunny weather?
As this book makes clear, this is a first rate cruising area. Rugged
scenery, beautiful beaches, excellent seafood and fine whiskies. It
is an inspiration.
Available from Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson, St Ives, UK.
DOWN TO THE SEA
An Epic Story of Naval Disaster
and Heroism in World War II
By BRUCE HENDERSON
Having discussed "Halsey's Storm", which
forms the climax of this story, with
someone who went very close to being a
victim of it (the XO of one of the destroyers
that sailed through it), your reviewer was
particularly interested in this book.
The typhoon which hit Admiral Halsey's fleet in December
1944 near the Philippines was a bad one. That, combined with
Halsey's arguable neglect in driving his fleet through it, cost the
US Navy three destroyers and 756 sailors.
Henderson, through extensive interviews, thorough research
and good access to the official records, has produced a very vivid
description of the typhoon and the damage it did.
His approach in describing the wartime activities and
experiences of four of the ships involved and their surviving crews
is a good one. It puts the storm into proper context as it does
Halsey's decisions, no matter what you might think of them.
A fascinating and very exciting read.
Available from Harper Collins, New York, USA.
For all the latest in maritime books, museums and art, visit www.bairdmaritime.com
WORK BOAT WORLD November 2009 73
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