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Finders Keepers or Terra to Let or Who Put Australia on the Map
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:44


Author: Ean McDonald

From Baird Maritime:

A delightful, whimsical history of the maritime discovery and charting of Australia.

The author is an ancient and widely experienced naval and merchant mariner. He is also a fine marine artist and has had extensive experience as an architect and in local government. His own history is nearly as fascinating as his subject in this book.

Combining his many talents together with the cynicism that politics teaches, this self-published book provides a valuable revision of much of Australia’s generally accepted maritime history.

The author really gets into the “nitty gritty” of Australia’s maritime history.

A great read and a very valuable if somewhat “revisionist” contribution to the education of Australians.

Ordering Information:

Ean McDonald
32 Watsonia Road
Gooseberry Hill, WA 6076
Australia
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Agents of Innovation: The General Board and the Design of the Fleet that Defeated the Japanese Navy
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:37

Author: John T Kuehn
Publisher: Naval Institute Press

From Baird Maritime:

The American military may have been woefully and tragically unprepared for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but they were well and truly prepared for war with Japan in many other respects.

This fine book, in simple and clear language, shows how well prepared and organised the Americans in fact were. The carefully analysis, planning and development of The General Board was the mainstay of this preparation.

The rapid recovery of the US Navy from the trauma of Pearl Harbor was testament to this. Much of the training, intelligence gathering, weapon and fleet development was mindful of the inevitability of war with Japan.

The General Board was the advisory body to the US Secretary of the Navy. Its influence on fleet design and organisation was vital in this.

As the author so clearly shows, the American naval machine was superior in so many ways to the Japanese. Japan was incredibly foolish to take on an America that was so much better prepared than most Japanese wartime leaders ever imagined.

Ordering Information:

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

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A Very Rude Awakening: The Night the Japanese Midget Subs Came to Sydney Harbour
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:37

Author: Peter Grose
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

From Baird Maritime:

Nearly six months after the commencement of the Pacific part of the Second World War, Sydney was very much rudely awakened as to wartime realities.

Three Japanese midget submarines managed to penetrate Sydney Harbour’s, obviously inadequately operated, defences. The night of May 31, 1942 was to become a memorable and tragic one.

Twenty-seven Australian and Japanese sailors were killed including the eight crewmembers of four midget Japanese submarines who were either blown up or suicided. One failed to enter the harbour. The city and the allied forces based in Sydney learnt a very expensive lesson in preparedness.

This very extensively and carefully researched book tells the story of the raid, its preparation and aftermath very well indeed.

Ordering Information:

Allen & Unwin
Crows Nest, Australia
Web: www.allenandunwin.com

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Conway's Battleships: The Definitive Visual Reference to the World's All-Big-Gun Ships
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:37

Editor: Ian Sturton
Publisher: Naval Institute Press

From Baird Maritime:

Apart from a few relatively brief subsequent outings, the world’s battleships had a brief flowering. Conceived and developed at the turn of the nineteenth century they were, to all intents and purposes, obsolete, if not extinct, by 1950.

This brief exposure to the world had, nevertheless, a very big impact. Fifteen countries ordered or operated battleships during that half century. Hundreds of thousands of men went to sea on them and far too many thousands died on them.

Suffering from the misfortune of being developed at almost the same time as aircraft, they were largely incapable of defending themselves against aerial attack. This ensured their very short reign.

They were, though, magnificent beasts. This carefully researched and beautifully presented book more than does them justice. It is a very useful history of every one of them.

Ordering Information:

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


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Earthrace: Futuristic Adventures on the High Seas
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:37

Author: Pete Bethune
Publisher: Hodder Moa

From Baird Maritime:

This is a most unusual but nevertheless fascinating book. It recounts the tale of a brash, egotistical New Zealander who, at first glance, would seem very unlikely to succeed in any venture.

To be fair though, he defied all the odds and nearly succeeded in this one. Basically he conceived, had designed, funded and constructed a 24-metre diesel trimaran that was to be fuelled by renewable “bio” fuels.

Written and well illustrated in an annoyingly overwrought manner, the book still fascinates. It tells of the trials and tribulations of this grossly unprepared outfit, led by the author.

Finally, and to considerable relief, they almost achieved their objective. That they failed was not a reflection on the impressive boat or of its bio-diesel fuel. It was more, as the author readily admits, a failure of organisation and leadership.

Ordering Information:

Hodder Moa
Auckland, New Zealand
Web: www.hachette.co.nz


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