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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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Environmental Aspects of Dredging
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:37

Editor: RN Bray
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

From Baird Maritime:

The science and art of dredging are badly misunderstood and under-appreciated in the minds of the general populace. This is largely because of the superior propaganda skills of those perpetual pests, the green idealogues.

It is also partly due to the indifferent responses from the dredging industry to the often malicious defamation of it.

Anyone who could really be bothered to learn the truth about the dredging industry’s concern for the environment would benefit from study of this very useful book. They would learn how the industry operates in an incredibly precise and scientific way. They would learn, what should be glaringly obvious, that the industry could not continue to operate except as an absolutely first class environmental citizen.

The worldwide dredging industry would be well advised to issue a copy of this book to every major media outlet and every marine green NGO on the planet. It could help to reverse some very expensive misconceptions.

Ordering Information:

Taylor & Francis
London, UK
Web: www.taylorandfrancis.co.uk

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Harvesting the Sea: The Story of the Puglisi Family, Fishing Pioneers
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:37


Authors: Michael Joseph Puglisi and Natalina Puglisi Inglis
Publisher: Mini-Publishing

From Baird Maritime:

The Puglisis of southern New South Wales and Port Lincoln in South Australia are among the very first families of Australia's fishing industry.

Originating in Sicily, the family emigrated in the 1920s to seek a new and better life in Australia. They did it hard. Through determination, persistence, hard work and a willingness to take risks, they mostly achieved success that was probably beyond the wildest dreams of Joe (Giuseppe), the original Italian/Australian patriarch.

This large and incredibly intensively researched book does the family proud. It is undoubtedly the best history yet produced of the Australian fishing industry even as it focuses only on one fishing family.

Starting in Wollongong with an open 25-foot (7.8-metre) fishing boat, it is hard to believe the vessels and equipment used by the family seven decades later. Throughout, the family were innovators and conservers. They were long-term thinkers and this has paid off for them.

A big, detailed and very valuable book describing the history of a family that has contributed enormously to Australia’s unfortunately fast-fading fishing industry.

Ordering Information:

Mini-Publishing
Sydney, Australia
Web: www.mickpuglisi.com

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