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Fletcher Class Destroyers
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:50

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Author: Lester Abbey
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

From Baird Maritime:

One of a series of eight books published by the new maritime imprint Seaforth Publishing that are aimed at ship modellers.

Modellers, obviously, need information to use in their quest to build the perfect model. This is where these books come in.

In a little over 60 A4 pages they pack in a vast number of clear photographs and detailed drawings of the ships and boats concerned. It also includes a brief history of the class.

The Fletchers were the largest class of destroyers ever built. There were 175 of them launched from October 1942 until the end of World War II. The last was decommissioned from the Mexican Navy in 2001.

A good, long and useful career span that included the Korean and Vietnam wars. They were strong, fast, roomy, versatile and nippy. Real work horses. They were more than a match for their German and Japanese counterparts. They did enormous damage to the Japanese.

A good history as well as an excellent modeller’s guide book.

Ordering Information:

Seaforth Publishing
Barnsley, UK
Web: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

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Fisheries Management in Australia
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:50

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Author: Daryl McPhee
Publisher: Federation Press

From Baird Maritime:

It is a pity that this book, which could have been really useful to all its target markets, is so one-sided. It would probably have better been titled “Fisheries Management Techniques Used in Australia”.

Tragically, too, it propounds the now completely discredited claim that Australia is recognised as a “world leader” in fisheries management. That may have been the case 15 years ago. Now the complete opposite is the case. Australia has become a world leader in the destruction of commercial fisheries.

It is a tragedy that the author, who has been in a position to see what has happened, has seen fit to ignore the tragic socio-economic outcomes of so much of Australia’s “world leading” fisheries management.

Finally, McPhee has chosen to ignore the economic cataclysm wrought by the conspiracy effected by Australia’s “world leading” fisheries managers. They have managed to turn a growing sustainable, strong and balance-of-trade positive industry into a weak, declining and balance-of-trade negative one in a decade.

A very disappointing and misleading publication.

Ordering Information:

Federation Press
Leichardt, Australia
Web: www.federationpress.com.au

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Gallipoli: Attack From the Sea
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:50

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Author: Victor Rudenno
Publisher: UNSW Press

From Baird Maritime:

Always controversial, the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War is popularly known as primarily a land engagement.

This conventional wisdom is far from accurate. Not only did the campaign require enormous amounts of naval support, it saw major changes to naval doctrine. Submarines, in particular, proved themselves conclusively as important components of modern warfare.

Dr Rudenno, who has the unusual combination of engineering and philosophical qualifications, makes that point very clearly. His is a very clear analysis of the campaign itself and of the technological developments that it inspired.

His wide-ranging book seems likely to become a classic of military history. Its approach is unusual but very effective.

Ordering Information:

UNSW Press
Sydney, Australia
Web: www.unswpress.com.au

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From Venus to Antarctica: The Life of Dumont d'Urville
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:50

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Author: John Dunmore
Publisher: Exisle Publishing

From Baird Maritime:

Born in 1790, d’Urville came to the Pacific a generation or two behind explorer luminaries such as Cook, Bligh and Flinders. He nevertheless filled in many of the gaps between their necessarily incomplete surveys.

In effect, he acted as a bridge between them and Darwin, Moresby and their ilk. He was effective, thorough and more important than conventional histories have allowed.

This fine work redresses the balance. It shows that d’Urville was a prickly personality incapable of popularity. His paranoia and touchiness undoubtedly contributed to his failure to attract the fame that his work deserved.

Further, as with his French explorer predecessors such as Bougainville and La Pérouse, d’Urville’s achievements were overshadowed by their British counterparts partly, at least, because Britain became by far the more significant coloniser of the Pacific.

Professor Dunmore has very effectively put d’Urville, his life and work, into proper perspective.

Ordering Information:

Exisle Publishing
Wollombi, Australia
Web: www.exislepublishing.com

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German S-Boats in Action in the Second World War
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:50

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Author: Hans Frank
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

From Baird Maritime:

Your reviewer has discussed the German S-Boats, or E-Boats as the British called them, with a number of wartime commanding officers of Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boats and Motor Gunboats. The general consensus was that they wished their boats had been as good.

What they were most envious of was the German boats’ diesel engines for their safety, greater reliability and longer range than the British petrol engines. They also liked the more seaworthy hull shapes of the German craft.

The fact is that the originally unwanted – by the German high command – Schnellboots, turned out to be highly useful and effective contributors. They also contributed to many significant advances that are now taken for granted in fast patrol and attack craft and in fast ferries.

That they were commanded and crewed by buccaneering types contributed to their image. As this book points out, and as many Allied histories agree, they were not used to best advantage. The conservatism of Germany’s admirals and their high command was the main reason for this.

Luckily for the Allies, this was the case. If their crews had been unleashed in the ways they had hoped, these fine craft would have done far more damage.

Well researched, well illustrated and written. A very valuable history of a very influential vessel type.

Ordering Information:

Seaforth Publishing
Barnsley, UK
Web: www.seaforthpublishing.com

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