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Coastal Vessels: A Colourful Portfolio
Friday, 17 October 2008 14:48

Authors: David L Williams and Richard de Kerbrech
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing and DLS Distribution Services

From Baird Maritime:

Perhaps a more accurate sub-title would have been “British Coastal Vessels of the 1930’s to 1970’s". The ships described, therefore are generally small, British and no longer trading.

This does not make them any less interesting. This is a fine collection of fascinating vessels going about their business. Every one is accompanied by a clear colour photograph. Each has a succinct specification and a brief biography.

Sadly, few of the ships and very few of their builders are still with us. This book very effectively reinforces the rapid rate of change that is common to the shipping industry.

A very interesting “passing parade” of British coastal cargo ships and working craft such as dredgers has been captured here.

Ordering Information:

Ian Allan Publishing
Hersham, UK
Web: www.ianallanpublishing.com
 
DLS Distribution Services
Braeside, Australia
Web: www.dlsbooks.com

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Sinbad of the Coastguard: The True Story of the Ultimate Sea Dog
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: George F Foley Jr, Cheif, USCG
Illustrator: George Gray, USCGR
Publisher: Flat Hammock Press

From Baird Maritime:

A delightfully whimsical book about a mutt that was smuggled aboard the US Coast Guard cutter ‘Campbell’ in 1937. Sinbad served aboard for 11 years which, of course, included combat and much action at sea and ashore.

After a rather shaky induction, the dog was eventually formally enlisted into the Coast Guard and provided with uniforms and his own bunk.

Following 11 years of exemplary service, Sinbad was buried beneath the flagstaff of the Barnegat Light Station in New Jersey.

Obviously always the centre of attention and the most popular member of his crew, Sinbad’s life has been widely photographed and illustrated. A selection of photographs and a host of excellent two colour drawings enhance the book immeasurably.

Ordering Information:

Flat Hammock Press
Mystic, USA
Web: www.flathammockpress.com

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Confederate Admiral: The Life and Wars of Franklin Buchanan
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:52

Author: Craig L Symonds
Publisher: Naval Institue Press

From Baird Maritime:

The author tells us that Franklin Buchanan’s transfer to the Confederate Navy and his rise to command of it was a rather hot-headed, spur-of-the-moment decision. He could just as easily have fought on the Union side in the American Civil War.

Apart from the Civil War that capped it, Buchanan’s was a most interesting seaman’s life. His life span covered much of the nineteenth century and, for his times, he saw much of planet Earth. He was, for example, the first American to set foot in Japan.

Entering the US Navy in 1815, he was still aboard (the Confederate Navy) in 1865. His was a long and very eventful career. Two navies, innumerable battles, plentiful long voyages.

All this and more is well and colourfully described in this first rate and very welcome biography.

Ordering Information:

Naval Institute Press
Annapolis, USA
Web: www.nip.org

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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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