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Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author)
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Medal Yearbook 2015
Medal Yearbook 2015
by John Mussell
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 31.14

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A lot more book for a little more cash!, Feb. 23 2015
This review is from: Medal Yearbook 2015 (Paperback)
Being ex-military, I have had an abiding interest in British medals for many years and, more recently have written for television on military subjects. In spite of all the information so readily available, it remains quite remarkable how TV and films seem to think that any ‘colour patch’ which looks like a medal ribbon will add authenticity to whatever character is being portrayed in instances of fact and fiction, when a copy of this book would save so much heartache.

This work has been published every year for over 20 years and although I do not need to purchase the latest copy every year, my rather dog-eared 2004 copy eventually became so out-of-date I simply had to purchase the latest edition. What a surprise! Eleven years on and the book is half as thick again (another 100 pages), has all the latest information and is only £2 more expensive! What I now have is a lot more book for just a little more cash containing almost everything you might want to know about British and Commonwealth honours, awards and medals in general. Whereas there are several pages of colour advertisements it must be understood that collectors and historians are the main market for this work and need such information. Nevertheless, those advertisements are not allowed to interfere with the natural flow of the work itself.

Prior to getting down to the specific detail of honours, awards and medals, the book commences with some fascinating sections; Foreword, Market highlights, New world record, Guide to prices, Operational honours (September 2013 and March 2014), Wearing awards, Order of Wear (not quite as confusing at it may seem), Collecting ribbons and, finally Miniature medals and decorations. The main information is then divided into; Orders of Knighthood, Decorations, Mentions and Commendation, Campaign Medals (in order of date instituted), Long and Meritorious service medals, Coronation and Jubilee medals, Miscellaneous medals, Foreign medals found in British groups, Medals of the Irish Republic, Awards of the British Commonwealth (in order; Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa) and Unofficial medals. The work then concludes with; Abbreviations and initials, Current regiments, Research/Books for the collector, Societies, Professional directory (Auctioneers, Dealers, Booksellers and Fairs), Museums and collections, Medal Ribbons in colour and Index.

The colour plates showing all the medals ribbons are something I frequently find myself studying whenever I see someone wearing a ribbon I do not imediately recognise. Having found the appropriate ribbon I then match the corresponding number with the appropriate medal – all of which are found in numerical order, and study the detail.

This is easily the best book on the subject and, having spoken with the publishers on a couple of occasions, I know they are constantly seeking to update and improve the work. By comparison to the ever-growing content, I have very few observations to make; (1) The South African ‘Order of Mendi for Bravery’ is not mentioned at all. (2) The separate (specific!) dates for qualification for each NATO and UN medal should be clearly defined in precisely the same way as, for example, the War Medal 1939-45 which is explained as; “28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.”

Nevertheless, the book is still worth a 5 Star rating and is, therefore, fully recommended.

NM
British army major (retired)

The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard: An Unforgettable Underwater Tour by the World's Leading Deep-Sea Explorer
The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard: An Unforgettable Underwater Tour by the World's Leading Deep-Sea Explorer
by Robert D. Ballard
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 32.99

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Resting on his laurels?, Jan. 28 2015
Like ‘almost’ everyone else in the world, I had never previously heard of Dr. Robert Ballard until; he famously discovered the Titanic in September 1985 - yes, almost 30 years ago already. Whereas I may not be in the same league, I have also been researching and writing about shipwrecks for a great many years and have even won awards for my books. In addition to his Titanic book, I have also carefully studied and reviewed his works on; Finding the Bismarck, the Lusitania, Lost Ships of Guadalcanal (all thoroughly recommended!) and others.

An avid reader of books about ships and shipwrecks, I had great expectations from this work only to be extremely disappointed. Firstly, the content is a mishmash of information already published in other books which means there is nothing new at all. The best analogy I can draw is with a pop group who re-release and re-release the same 20 tracks - 16 at a time, on several very different long-playing records (LPs) - such as ‘the hits’ and ‘the best of’ and other compilations.

My next criticism is reserved for the quality of manufacture. It is appalling! This is a big thick book approx 11 x 11 inches and about one inch thick - and only 256 pages. The paper used is a fine card and is so thick every THREE sheets (measuring approx 22 in x 11 in) are individually stitched to provide 6 leaves and 12 pages. Multiply that by 21 and it is not long before this over-complicated manufacturing process starts to fall apart. Ordinarily, a book as thick as this one would have twice as many pages because a finer paper was used along with a more modern binding system.

Whereas, I personally believe the quality of writing has deteriorated since Rick Archbold appeared as co-author, it would also appear Dr. Ballard may now be resting on his laurels and content to re-release old information in a new format. I never thought this man would ever disappoint me.

All that said, if you are new to the works of Dr. Ballard, this book will give you an insight into several of his accomplishments - before it falls apart!

NM

The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard: An Unforgettable Underwater Tour by the World's Leading Deep-Sea Explorer
The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard: An Unforgettable Underwater Tour by the World's Leading Deep-Sea Explorer
by Robert D. Ballard
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 54.91

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Resting on his laurels?, Jan. 28 2015
Like ‘almost’ everyone else in the world, I had never previously heard of Dr. Robert Ballard until; he famously discovered the Titanic in September 1985 - yes, almost 30 years ago already. Whereas I may not be in the same league, I have also been researching and writing about shipwrecks for a great many years and have even won awards for my books. In addition to his Titanic book, I have also carefully studied and reviewed his works on; Finding the Bismarck, the Lusitania, Lost Ships of Guadalcanal (all thoroughly recommended!) and others.

An avid reader of books about ships and shipwrecks, I had great expectations from this work only to be extremely disappointed. Firstly, the content is a mishmash of information already published in other books which means there is nothing new at all. The best analogy I can draw is with a pop group who re-release and re-release the same 20 tracks - 16 at a time, on several very different long-playing records (LPs) - such as ‘the hits’ and ‘the best of’ and other compilations.

My next criticism is reserved for the quality of manufacture. It is appalling! This is a big thick book approx 11 x 11 inches and about one inch thick - and only 256 pages. The paper used is a fine card and is so thick every THREE sheets (measuring approx 22 in x 11 in) are individually stitched to provide 6 leaves and 12 pages. Multiply that by 21 and it is not long before this over-complicated manufacturing process starts to fall apart. Ordinarily, a book as thick as this one would have twice as many pages because a finer paper was used along with a more modern binding system.

Whereas, I personally believe the quality of writing has deteriorated since Rick Archbold appeared as co-author, it would also appear Dr. Ballard may now be resting on his laurels and content to re-release old information in a new format. I never thought this man would ever disappoint me.

All that said, if you are new to the works of Dr. Ballard, this book will give you an insight into several of his accomplishments - before it falls apart!

NM

The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard: An Unforgettable Underwater Tour by the World's Leading Deep-Sea E: Written by Robert D. Ballard, 2005 Edition, Publisher: Thunder Bay Pr [Hardcover]
The Lost Ships of Robert Ballard: An Unforgettable Underwater Tour by the World's Leading Deep-Sea E: Written by Robert D. Ballard, 2005 Edition, Publisher: Thunder Bay Pr [Hardcover]
by Robert D. Ballard
Edition: Hardcover
6 used & new from CDN$ 59.95

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Resting on his laurels?, Jan. 28 2015
Like ‘almost’ everyone else in the world, I had never previously heard of Dr. Robert Ballard until; he famously discovered the Titanic in September 1985 - yes, almost 30 years ago already. Whereas I may not be in the same league, I have also been researching and writing about shipwrecks for a great many years and have even won awards for my books. In addition to his Titanic book, I have also carefully studied and reviewed his works on; Finding the Bismarck, the Lusitania, Lost Ships of Guadalcanal (all thoroughly recommended!) and others.

An avid reader of books about ships and shipwrecks, I had great expectations from this work only to be extremely disappointed. Firstly, the content is a mishmash of information already published in other books which means there is nothing new at all. The best analogy I can draw is with a pop group who re-release and re-release the same 20 tracks - 16 at a time, on several very different long-playing records (LPs) - such as ‘the hits’ and ‘the best of’ and other compilations.

My next criticism is reserved for the quality of manufacture. It is appalling! This is a big thick book approx 11 x 11 inches and about one inch thick - and only 256 pages. The paper used is a fine card and is so thick every THREE sheets (measuring approx 22 in x 11 in) are individually stitched to provide 6 leaves and 12 pages. Multiply that by 21 and it is not long before this over-complicated manufacturing process starts to fall apart. Ordinarily, a book as thick as this one would have twice as many pages because a finer paper was used along with a more modern binding system.

Whereas, I personally believe the quality of writing has deteriorated since Rick Archbold appeared as co-author, it would also appear Dr. Ballard may now be resting on his laurels and content to re-release old information in a new format. I never thought this man would ever disappoint me.

All that said, if you are new to the works of Dr. Ballard, this book will give you an insight into several of his accomplishments - before it falls apart!

NM

Otters of the World
Otters of the World
by Paul Yoxon
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 29.95
26 used & new from CDN$ 17.67

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent appraisal of the Otter!, Jan. 6 2015
This review is from: Otters of the World (Paperback)
Ever since I first saw Jack Couffer’s 1969 film ‘Ring of Bright Water,’ I have always liked the Otter and have taken notice whenever local headlines informed us they were being reintroduced into former habitats. That said, mine was nothing more than an ‘armchair’ interest and, as far as I was aware, an Otter was an Otter with some species found in the UK and others abroad. Having read this book, all that is now changed.

In this excellent appraisal of the various species, we find the answers to all our queries - and a great deal more besides. Commencing with the simply-put question ‘What is an Otter?, Chapter 1 explains much that we might need to know in a fascinating and hugely entertaining way. In so doing, the book provides a better understanding of this engaging creature which may reappear in our local waters at any time - if not already.

The following chapters are then devoted to the many different species found around the world - as follows; Eurasian, Spotted-Necked, Smooth-Coated, Hairy-Nosed, North American River, Marine, Neotropical/Long-Tailed, Southern River, Giant, African Clawless, Asian Smooth-Clawed, Congo Clawless and Sea Otter before continuing with further chapters on; Rescue & Rehabilitation, Otters and Pollution, Otters and Fisheries, Illegal Trade and, finally, ‘The Future.’ The book then concludes with; Appendices, Further Reading and Index.

Whereas the text is, as I have said, both informative and immensely readable, the supporting colour photography is quite exceptional with all species being included. Whereas it may be fair to say most people know that certain birds (such as the Cormorant) are used by fishermen, I was not previously aware that some Otters are also trained for the same purpose. Elsewhere there are some amazing close-up pictures showing, for example, a Congo Clawless Otter digging for worms, a Neotropical looking as though it is cleaning its teeth, one which is eating a crab, another even eating a Python (a small Python!) and all manner of adults and cubs in various situations.

Well researched, well presented and well written, it is easy to see why those with a ‘real’ passion for the Otter are so driven. Books such as this can only help the overall cause by explaining the creature in such rich detail.

NM

Dive Truk Lagoon: The Japanese WWII Pacific Shipwrecks
Dive Truk Lagoon: The Japanese WWII Pacific Shipwrecks
by Rod Macdonald
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 33.82
26 used & new from CDN$ 33.82

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 I really have agonised over this one!, Jan. 6 2015
After finishing this review, I noticed another posted on Amazon.co.uk which I duly read. Ordinarily I would ignore anything said by other reviewers - be they broadly in agreement with my own sentiments or not. On this occasion, however, the author (Rod Macdonald) had appended his own comments to that review in which he admitted to being in agreement with the criticisms made about the book’s artwork. Consequently, I made suitable amendments to the following.

In the early hours of 17 February 1944 Operation Hailstone was launched. The immediate objective was to establish air superiority in and around Truk Lagoon by destroying Japanese airfields and aircraft. From 0440 hrs, fighters and fighter-bombers from 5 US Carriers continued to attack. Whereas surprise was complete, the Japanese Cruiser Katori, two Destroyers and the Akagi Maru escaped - although the latter was lost soon after. By 1800 hrs US Admiral Spruance had achieved total air superiority and, although he found the Japanese naval fleets absent, he was then able to concentrate on destroying whatever vessels were in the lagoon. Altogether 45 ships were sunk, a further 27 damaged, some 275 aircraft destroyed, 90% of the Japanese fuel supplies set on fire and both the submarine and seaplane pens put out of action. The Japanese death toll was never published but was said to be the worst-ever for a two day engagement. By comparison, the US lost 25 aircraft, 29 aircrew and 11 sailors. Another four Japanese ships were also sunk in later engagements and IJN submarine I-174 was sunk by depth charges. In brief, that is how one of the greatest fleets of sunken ships found anywhere in the world was created. The wrecks of Truk Lagoon (now called Chuuk) have continued to attract divers ever since the advent of scuba diving.

As regular readers of my reviews will know, all good books about ships and shipwrecks are wholly dependent on the author’s ability to undertake and assimilate competent research. It is a time-consuming responsibility which few others are able to appreciate. There are no quick-fixes or short-cuts and one simply cannot get away with paraphrasing other works. Through a number of his books, Rod Macdonald has always impressed me as a writer who realty does understand this concept and, in this instance, has provided a more-than-adequate assessment of the events of 1944. Although I found nothing new, his approach is interesting, informative and reasonably complete. I did not like the way in which the book is divided into 4 sections - each of which commenced with its own Chapter 1. This was reinforced by the headings which are simply inconsistent - as follows; Book One; War, Book Two; The Shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon, Japanese Aircraft Wrecks of Truk Lagoon and US Task Force 58 Strike Aircraft.

One of the most outstanding features of Macdonald’s books has always been the artwork he employs. These paintings of wrecks are of a very high standard. As one who has also commissioned the finest possible artwork to support his own books, I know exactly what is involved in producing such impressions. In some instances, however, we learn from those aforementioned comments that the images produced show some of the wrecks - as they were before having collapsed.

All diving books become out-dated sooner than their authors would care to admit and none more so than those which are dedicated to the fast-deteriorating remains of shipwrecks. Over time, I have studied a number of works on that intriguing piece of marine real-estate called Truk Lagoon (still the preferred name!) aimed at the scuba diver (including those by Dan Bailey, Klaus Lindemann (2 books - although he did insist on using Operation Hailstorm and not Hailstone!), Roy Smallpage and William H. Stewart) plus numerous historic accounts of the relevant wartime events.

All things considered, therefore, I do believe this to be a fair and accurate assessment of the events which led to the provision of so many shipwrecks in a single location and of the various descriptions of each wreck. For those who are new to the subject, this book is a good place to learn of those events and of the individual ships now resting on the seabed. If the reader is able to overlook the fact that some (only some!) of the portraits of those wrecks are not as up-to-date (in terms of deterioration) as one is entitled to expect, it really is a very good book.

NM

The Battlecruiser Hood
The Battlecruiser Hood
by John Arthur Roberts
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from CDN$ 38.05

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Everything you need to know about the Hood., Dec 13 2014
This review is from: The Battlecruiser Hood (Hardcover)
There was a time when the Battlecruiser Hood was the largest, fastest and most handsome capital ship in the world. She was also adored by the British public and in many ways came to symbolise everything that was supremely good about the Royal Navy. On 24 May 1941 the Hood was famously sunk by the Bismarck with only three of her crew of 1,419 surviving. It was an act which resulted in Churchill giving the order "Sink the Bismarck" and, of course, they did. More recently, the remains of HMS Hood have been located at great depth in the North Atlantic resulting in renewed interest in the ship itself. Elsewhere, there are websites dedicated to the vessel and a very strong HMS Hood Association attended by those who had previously served on this, the most beautiful of ships. This is an excellent book for all such interested people.

Conway Maritime Press are well known for their "Anatomy of the Ship" series in which they provide the finest technical documentation for specific ships or ship types ever published. "The Battlecruiser Hood" is hard-back measuring 10'" (wide) x 9'" with 127 pages of detailed and factual information. This wide format allows the publishers to produce first class detailed line drawings of every aspect of this ship in a size that is easy to see and follow. All the information is there - right down to the last nut and bolt.

Laid down in 1916, Hood was designed and constructed when ships got close to the enemy and fired straight at them. By the time she was completed in 1918, however, battleships were able to lob their shells great distances with alarming accuracy. This new dimension of warfare at sea with shells "falling from the sky" meant that all warships required armour plating on their decks where previously it had only been on the sides. This requirement, coupled with an explanation of the financial restrictions placed upon the Royal Navy during the inter-war years provides the reader with all the reasons why HMS Hood was lost in the way she was.

This informative introduction continues with a service history of the ship followed by a series of "Tables" which include comparisons in battleship and Battlecruiser designs and information on the ship's; trials, dimensions, displacement, stability, armament, fire control, ship's boats and modifications. Next is 13 pages of historic photographs followed by 93 pages of detailed line drawings and more specific technical information.

And detailed it is too; Under the first main heading "General arrangements" we commence with an external profile of the ship followed by a series of detailed line drawings showing every aspect of this ship in cross section - deck by deck and room by room, from aft to bows. Then everything is repeated from above as we work our way down through every level of the ship from the highest part of the superstructure to the keel. These are followed with more specific technical information under such headings as hull construction, machinery, accommodation, superstructure, rig, armament, fire control, fittings, ground tackle, ship's boats and finally aircraft arrangements.

The inclusion of an expanded view of the clip which secured the quarterdeck hatch gives an indication of the attention to detail put into this book and, once again, I congratulate both author and publishers for a job well done.

NM

The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War (General Military)
The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War (General Military)
Prix : CDN$ 7.99

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Long-awaited and much needed!, Dec 9 2014
Author Mark Stille is a retired US Navy Commander with a particular interest in the naval history of the Pacific War. As such, he brings a rich understanding to his works - reinforced by his BA in History from the University of Maryland and MA from the Naval War College. Not only does this man understand his subject from more than one perspective, he also possesses that vital quality of producing fascinating and very readable accounts. Access to all manner of documents and records from both sides of any conflict is essential in determining an accurate sequence of events. Japan, however, does not readily make such information available and I mention this in order to underline the exhaustive and detailed research undertaken in order to produce this outstanding work. This particular assessment of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during WW2 is long-awaited and much needed!

Remarkably, it was a navy which only came into being in 1868 - and yet by 1941 had risen to become the 3rd most powerful in the world. It had defeated China in the war of 1894-5 and humiliated the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 – in a battle which was the most important and decisive naval engagement since Trafalgar 100 years earlier. By their exploits Japan had astonished the world. By 1941, the only naval force able to counter Japanese aggression was the US Navy and that was a confrontation for which Japan had been preparing and training for twenty years. The size of these two ‘opposing’ fleets favoured the US - although the Japanese expected their training and discipline to tip the balance in their favour. Instead of seeking direct conflict at sea, however, they opted to attack Pearl Harbour in order to remove that opposition at a stroke - safe in the knowledge that ‘big’ ships such as battleships and aircraft carriers took time to replace.

Japanese belief in the superiority of the aircraft carrier was inspired because it was a weapon which was yet to be tested in war. Elsewhere there existed admirals who favoured the carrier and those who still firmly believed in the invincibility of the battleship. A US Army-Navy pamphlet dated 29 November 1941 even carried a photograph of the USS Arizona at sea - next to which was printed the prophetic words; “It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiasts no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs.” Pearl Harbour was attacked on 7 December 1941 and three days later the British capital ships HMS’ Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk at sea off Malaysia. The era of the aircraft carrier had arrived. The consequences for that unprovoked attack, however, would have been so very different had the US carriers been at home alongside the rest of the fleet… Whereas, for the moment, the IJN seemed invincible, the response from the USA was measured, constant, carefully planned and always certain.

Against that background, we also learn of IJN strategy and their fundamental belief in victory. The Washington and London Naval Treaties are carefully explained alongside the IJN constructions programmes and the doctrines adopted for carriers, battleships, cruisers and other naval vessels. The next 30 pages contain one of the finest potted-histories (complete with maps) of the War in the Pacific I have ever read and includes; the background, Pear Harbour, expansion, early successes, Battle of the Coral Sea, Battle of Midway, Guadalcanal, October 1942, November 1942, After Guadalcanal, 1944, Leyte Gulf and the Final Sortie - culminating in the exploding HIJMS Yamato.

The next 312 pages concentrate on the various IJN ships in the order; Aircraft Carriers, Battleships, Heavy Cruisers, Light Cruisers, Destroyers and Submarines. The final chapter is headed ‘Conclusion and Analysis’ before the work comes to an end with Bibliography and Index. Everything is fully supported with technical details of all aspects of the ships plus an abundant supply of historic photographs - many of which were refreshingly new to me. Once again, Osprey Publishing have included some pretty amazing artwork which include profile and deck views of the ships plus a number of those technically excellent cutaway views - such as the Hatsuyuki, Zuikaku, Yamato and others.

My single complaint is with the description of Pearl Harbour being a “stunning Victory.” Stunning victories come from men and machines facing each other in battle and not from shooting men attending Church Parade before war was officially declared. That, however, does not detract from the sheer excellence of another work from this established expert.

NM

Descent into Darkness
Descent into Darkness
by Edward C. Raymer
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 23.75
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.82

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is an incredible tale., Dec 8 2014
This review is from: Descent into Darkness (Paperback)
Edward Raymer was in charge of a team of US Navy divers sent urgently to Pearl in the aftermath of that infamous attack. Their first priority was to save as many men as possible who were trapped in upturned hulls. Once that job was considered as complete as it ever could be, their tasks changed as salvage and recovery work got under way. On his retirement from the US Navy in 1996, he wrote this book about the work he had undertaken all those years ago.

Having finally found and read the work, I began by writing a review which explained the content and applauded the overall product but, as I was doing this I thought that many non-divers would fail to grasp the enormity of the tasks those brave men undertook in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbour.

It occurred to me that many people who are unfamiliar with the underwater world would think that those US Navy divers would only have to switch on a torch (and that the US Navy would have provided some very powerful diving torches) and everything underwater would be as clear as possible. Take it from me, there is no light in the world which penetrates oil and water so dark and thick with dirt that the diver cannot even see his instruments when they are pressed against his faceplate or facemask. The inside of a ship’s hull is a large dark space where no natural light penetrates. Add to that, thjere were also two other vitally important factors; Firstly, these US Battleships were amongst the biggest in the world - so big that crew members frequently got lost. These divers had to find their way in (and out again!) without an intimate knowledge of each vessel. Secondly, those ships were now badly damaged, upside down or on their sides. A ship’s layout, therefore, which might have been familiar territory to one of the crew, now had to be memorised from blueprints and followed by Navy Divers after that layout had been completely changed - with their only method of finding their way around - was by feel…

I have been an active scuba diver for almost 40 years, have visited countless shipwrecks including the remains of HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. I mention this to underline the simple fact that whilst I am able to appreciate the work undertaken by US Navy divers in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour 1941, I also have no concept of the filthy and dangerous conditions or of the fear they must have had to overcome in order to complete the enormous task they were set. Certainly, if all diving was confined to such conditions, there would be no civilian divers at all!

I hope this personal element of my review will give the reader a better understanding of how truly magnificent this story really is. Magnificent, because of the achievements of Raymer and his men against all odds in spite of the appalling conditions.

This is a story which will be enjoyed by diver and non-diver alike because it is well written and reveals much that was hitherto not known. It only remains for me to congratulate those men on a truly amazing achievement,

NM

Ship Spotter's Guide (General Military)
Ship Spotter's Guide (General Military)
Prix : CDN$ 8.76

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Must be a bargain!, Nov. 18 2014
My work as a shipwreck historian involves research into a wide variety of different craft and is usually based on the existence of a particular shipwreck. As such, there is no detail from any vessel which is beyond my interest - no matter how insignificant. Along the way, I have obtained a number of books from Osprey Publishing which contain some pretty amazing artwork. These include profile and deck views of all manner of ships plus the occasional technically excellent exploded-view. In many ways, this work might be described as the best of that artwork collated into a single book.

Measuring only 7 in. wide (190 x 130 mm), the work is a quick reference guide to many of the world’s greatest warships from ancient times to the latest US Aircraft Carriers. That, however, brings into question the book’s title - which should have been ‘Warship Spotter’s Guide!’

Nevertheless, this is one of the most useful additions to my bookshelf for some time. 40 types of warship are included and, without mentioning every ship, are collated in the following date order; Egyptian War Galley and Athenian Trireme, Norse Longship, Warships of the Far East, Tudor Warships, Spanish Galleon, Warships of the Anglo-Dutch War, Pirate Ships, Warships of the War of Independence, Napoleonic Ship-of-the-line, Ironclads, Union Monitors, River Gunboats, Commerce Raiders, British Dreadnoughts, German Dreadnoughts, Super Dreadnoughts, Austro-Hungarian Battleships, Destroyers and Submarines. We then arrive at the time of WW2 and find a useful cross-section of American, British, German, Italian and Japanese battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines. The work then concludes with; Vietnam Riverine Craft, American Cold-War Carriers, Nuclear Submarines and American Modern Super-Carriers.

Whereas the content for each vessel - selected as being representative of its ‘type,’ is brief, the detail is, nevertheless, informative. This comprises a one-page introduction and brief history which explains when and where the ship in question came into being in addition to the political machinations of the day. On the facing page we find the technical specifications alongside the artistic view of the entire ship - with cutaway section or sections showing internal features. And all that for GBP £4:99 (RRP) - now that must be a bargain!

Whereas the accomplished expert might gain little from the work, I suspect few people know all there is to know about every type of ship mentioned in this book and most will find something of considerable interest. Alternatively, it will also provide an excellent present for those who are beginning to show an early interest in the subject of warships throughout history.

NM

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