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Crisis at Sea: The United States Navy in European Waters in World War I
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: William N Still, Jr
Publisher: University Press of Florida

From Baird Maritime:

A massive, intensively researched book on a most interesting subject – the effective international “coming out” of the United States Navy.

As is well known, the United States was a reluctant late comer to the First World War. Its participation, though, undoubtedly improved the Allied prospects of victory.

Much less is known of the role of the US Navy than of the American Expeditionary Force on land or even of the romantic antics of America’s fighter pilots. This fine book re-balances the accounts so to speak.

The author is a respected and widely published maritime history academic. He looks at all aspects of the US Navy’s participation in the war and particularly the political.

The First World War was an intensely educational experience for the US Navy and its political masters. It was a major contributor to its readiness for the Second World War and its significant success there.

Very valuable.

Ordering Information:

University Press of Florida
Gainesville, USA
Web: www.upf.com

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Changing Places: The Remarkable Story of the Hong Kong Shipowners
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: Stephanie Zarach
Publisher: Hong Kong Shipowners Association

From Baird Maritime:

It is an interesting experience to review a book where the reviewer knows personally, or has known, a number of the principal subjects. This is the case here.

There are three, perhaps four, places in the world where ship owning is regarded as an honourable, respected activity. Where ship owners are looked up to and where ship owning is a passion rather than simply a commercial activity.

They are Norway, Greece and Hong Kong, with Singapore being the “perhaps”. This kind of book could only be published in one of these places.

The Hong Kong shipping industry, from a Chinese perspective, at least, has only existed for about sixty years. Prior to that all significant shipping in the region was carefully owned and controlled by various colonial powers, particularly Britain.

This fine book shows how, thanks to the bravery, enterprise, innovation and persistence of a number of, mostly Shanghainese, entrepreneurs, a huge industry grew rapidly in a once out-of-the-way place. That Hong Kong is now one of the world’s top two or three shipping centres speaks for itself.

Their enormous commercial drive has seen most of the Hong Kong shipowners expand into other industries, not always marine related. Shipbuilding, banking, property development, tourism, mining, media and manufacturing have all benefited from their drive. They are global players.

It is an exciting and inspiring story that has been well told here. Well illustrated and beautifully presented.

Ordering Information:

Hong Kong Shipowners Association
Hong Kong
Web: www.hksoa.org.hk

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Merchant Mariners at War: An Oral History of World War II
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Authors: George J Billy and Christine M Billy
Publisher: University Press of Florida

From Baird Maritime:

The authors are closely connected to the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. Their book looks at a collection of 59 audio and video recordings of interviews with graduates of that institution who participated in World War II.

It is not, then, taken from a lower deck perspective. It does however offer an in-depth view of World War II from a US Merchant Marine perspective.

As with their equivalents in other Allied and Axis merchant “navies”, American merchant mariners did not project the glamour of the “fighting” navy people. Their war was one of dogged persistence in the face of great danger and privation. Many were killed but the survivors ploughed on with considerable bravery.

It is a great story that is well presented by very sympathetic and empathetic authors.

Ordering Information:

University Press of Florida
Gainesville, USA
Web: www.upf.com

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Skipper's Onboard Emergency Guide
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: Hans Donat
Publisher: Adlard Coles Nautical

From Baird Maritime:

Another very useful book aimed at the leisure yachtsman but of just as much benefit to the commercial mariner.

In just 26 simple, clearly illustrated and concisely written pages, it gives an amazing amount of vital advice to those facing trouble at sea.

The problems and their solutions described cover: storms, medical, hypothermia, man overboard, lee shore, grounding, fire, dismasting, jury rig, emergency steering, leaks and holing. All presented in a colourful, heavily laminated, spiral bound format that is waterproof and up to the rigours of the sea.

A really quickly referenced and easy to follow aide memoir for those in peril on the sea.

Ordering Information:

Adlard Coles Nautical
London, UK
Web: www.adlardcoles.com or www.allenandunwin.com

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Survey Vessels of the World: 7th Edition 2008/2009
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Publisher: Clarkson Research Services

From Baird Maritime:

Another detailed, accurate and up-to-date global directory of an entire class of vessels from the hyper active research department of Clarksons, the world’s largest ship broker.

It lists, effectively, every significant survey or research vessel of the world along with every owner of such vessels and their complete fleets.

Many of the vessels are pictured and some benefit from an accompanying general arrangement drawing. All have a useful and reasonably detailed specification listing. They range from quite small (around 20 metres LOA) to very large (100 metres or more). It is interesting that the average age of vessels listed is 24 years.

Divided into: Seismic/Geophysical Survey; Hydrographic/Multi-Role Survey; and, Research/Oceanographic Survey, the directory provides potential charterers with the best possible guide to what is available.

A particularly useful and well-presented reference.

Ordering Information:

Clarkson Research Services
Ledbury, UK
Web: www.crsl.com

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