BOOK REVIEW | My Hitch in Hell

By Lester I. Tenney

This is one, very erudite, man’s graphic story of the Bataan Death March and its aftermath. It is a very sensitive and carefully considered account of a horrible wartime experience and the shattering disappointment of much of his subsequent treatment by the US Government.

BOOK REVIEW | Silver State Dreadnought: The Remarkable Story of Battleship Nevada

By Stephen M Younger

Laid down in 1912, USS Nevada was the world’s first “superdreadnought”; America’s first oil-fuelled warship; the first to have a triple-gun main turret; and, the first to be fitted with “all or nothing” armour. She was a mighty ship that fought in both the First and Second World Wars and served until she was destroyed as a gunnery target in 1948. 

REMINISCENCES | Shipbuilding on the Clyde

The river Clyde – though a very muddy little stream – is known to most people throughout the world as a place that has a great deal to do in the building of ships. Doubtless, most young engineers have at some time or another observed that familiar brass plate which adorns the engine-room bulkhead, “Built on the Clyde."

REMINISCENCES | Carefully to carry

It was a photograph of one of these monster container ships that made me sorry for those who have to sail in them. It was probably a maiden voyage of a CMA-CGM new delivery, because every one of the 18,000TEU that festooned this colossal ship was identical and advertising the company brand. Whatever amazing treasures were contained in the cargo carried in this big ship, its crew would have remained in ignorance about it all. Isn’t that sad?

REMINISCENCES | Oiling the wheels of industry

These days, when corruption has gone inter-continental and there is so much money laundering, you don’t wonder why the banknotes are dirty, I sometimes recall the corrupt practices of the past. It wasn’t exactly an age of innocence, but it all seems to have been on a smaller and more comprehensible scale, when there was less transparency about what was being given to whom to ..er..“facilitate trade”.

FEATURE | Extensive refit for Chao Phraya teak barge

From the early 17th to the mid 18th century the Dutch maintained a post on the Chao Phraya River near the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Today little remains of the old Dutch buildings but a fine new museum has been built on the site, Baan Hollanda informs the modern visitor of that important era.

REMINISCENCES | The slow march of technology

I don’t know how they cope these days with all the electronic equipment, which keeps ship systems together, having to be updated or even replaced, every eighteen months or so. On our oldest ladies – some of them the wrong side of 35 years old – the equipment they took to the scrapyard was mostly that which had been installed when they left their shipyards. Our company was no mean-minded tramp outfit – our Commonwealth cargo liners were the best that the owner’s money could buy - but marine technology moved rather slower in those days.

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