The Royal Navy Submarine Service


This is a Centennial History in association with the Royal Naval Submarine Museum. It makes an interesting comparison with another Centennial book, 100Years of Royal Navy Submarines . The unfortunate fact of anniversaries is that they prompt several publishers to produce titles in commemoration, or time releases to coincide with such events. This often means that readers will only buy one of several competing titles. As in this case, there are two books that are motivated by the Centennial of the RN Submarine Service. Inevitably, there is overlap between them but they are different and complimentary books. Antony Preston has given coverage to the people who manned the submarines and includes many photographs of them. He has taken a style of Class ‘boxes’ where each Class is provided with a full page box, containing essential information and a photograph of one vessel of that Class. These boxes are then spaced through what is in effect a diary of the RN Submarine Service, which also has some additional photographs scattered through it. A very professional and comprehensive coverage of the subject that has undoubtedly benefited from the association with the Royal Naval Submarine Museum

The Royal Navy Day by Day


This is the third edition of a famous chronological reference work covering the history of the Royal Navy from its earliest days to the present time. No student of naval history can be without a personal copy and no self-respecting library should fail to add this latest edition to the two earlier editions. The authors of this edition have made a painstaking study for each day of the year. 1 January starts off with the entry “1586 Sir Francis Drake captured San Domingo ( Bonaventure, Tiger and Primrose )” and the book concludes with a final entry for 31 December “2003 NATO appointment of Allied C-in-C Eastern Atlantic (CINCEASTLANT) abolished. First established at Northwood in 1952. The last CINCEASTLANT was Adm Sir Jonathon Band”. Colour has only been used on the cover, presumably to both maintain continuity and to save production costs. The illustration is of a high standard and includes rare material. On present volume printing technology, colour images would probably have had to be used in colour sections, destroying the meticulous chronological presentation. There is such a wealth of detailed information that it is impossible to see what might have been omitted. There must be some omissions from a history of such magnitude, but there would seem to be no omission of key events

The Royal Marine – From Sea Soldiers To A Special Force


The author principally concentrates upon the activities of the Royal Marines during the 20th Century. Three sections of photographs illustrate a range of Royal Marines activities from WWI through to the Falklands War. Well written and interesting when read against ‘Sea Soldier – the letters and journals of Major Wybourn RM 1797-1813’ to see how much and how little has changed between 18th and 20th Century sea soldiering.

The Right Stuff


In the entire history of human development there have been only a few occasions when a discovery or action has truly changed the world. One such occasion was the first steps into space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Seven Americans were lucky enough to be chosen to take the first steps into space for the US. Tom Wolfe wrote the first major book on manned space flight. The Right Stuff has sold in large numbers around the world and the story has prompted a film. This edition has been further enhanced through the use of hundreds of historic photographs and is excellent value. Colour has been used where available. Today, it may seem strange that all photographs were not in full colour but it is indicative of the huge advances made during the last sixty years. At the beginning of this story the X-1 was carried to launch altitude by a WWII piston-engined bomber. Colour photography was still rare. This is an inspiring story and conveys the spirit of the US space programme and of the society of the time. One of those books not to be without

The Return of the Cutty Sark


An example of creative publishing. Cutty Sark has to be the most famous of the square rigged tea clippers that raced each other to Europe with the new harvest of tea. Millions have visited Cutty Sark since she retired and was preserved. This classic book was published in 1924 after her purchase in 1921 by retired Captain Dowman. The publishers have decided on producing a facsimile reprint which works very well. The full story is told from Cutty Sark’s building in 1869, her work in the China tea trade, Australian wool trade and reduced to a barquentine in Portuguese ownership, her purchase by Captain Dowman, and her restoration to her original rigging. This is a stirring story of a grand ship, her captains and men who sailed in her. An authentic story and a must to read

The Real Heroes of Telemark


The story of the attack on the heavy water production facility at Telemark was made famous by a film that was entertaining and dramatic but a pale reflection of the real event, the bravery, the determination and suffering. The general view sixty years later is that Germany was researching up a blind alley with little prospect of producing an atomic bomb. At the time, it was seen as a real and terrible threat that could change the outcome of the 1939-45 War. For those who took part in the attack, they were engaged in a mission of supreme importance that had to succeed and they performed brilliantly. The story is told with affection and understanding of the Norwegian terrain and climatic conditions

The SS


The author has established himself as one of the great authorities on the Third Reich. This book provides a history of the SS which has become a black icon for the period. This book traces the history of the SS from their roots before Hitler came to power, when the function of what became eventually a major organization was to provide a bodyguard for Hitler. The book dispels the many myths that have sprung up around the SS and provides a lucid account of the development of the organization to provide intelligence, to carryout the terrible policy of extermination, to maintain control of the domestic population and to provide a military formation that was eventually to become a well equipped and trained elite or more than equal terms with the German Army

The Royal Yacht Britannia – The Official History


There are good books, bad books, average books, and few books that generate the WOW!!!! factor. This is one of the latter. It is a very difficult book for a reviewer because there is just some much packed into the pages and the range of topics covered is enormous. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh provides a very good review in his foreword to the book, which he describes as ‘a fascinating account of the career of this remarkable ship’. Perhaps this justly reflects THE Royal yacht, an icon of British tradition and style for half a Century. A reviewer is always cautious of superlatives, but this is a subject where superlatives are somehow inadequate to describe the subject and its presentation. The author is an internationally established marine writer, yachting journalist, and photographer who established himself as a naval historian with his definitive book “Britain’s Greatest Warship – HMS Ark Royal IV”. The author has received unprecedented support from the Royal Family, the Royal Household, the Royal Yachtsmen, senior politicians, Heads of State, the designer, and a host of others who have been part of the story of HMY Britannia. The publisher has a well-established reputation for publishing definitive works on maritime subjects and is particularly renowned for the technical quality and illustration of these books. It has to be said that this is a book that justifies several reviews of each of a number of distinct aspects that together are the story of a very famous vessel. As a ship, she is based on commercial designs that were elevated to a completely new level by the way in which she was fitted out and lovingly maintained through her life. In many respects she was surprisingly Spartan in her furnishing but every ship is brought to life by the people who touch her and HMY Britannia has touched and been touched by many extraordinary people. Unlike most Royal Navy vessels, many of her crew served for very long unbroken periods, rather than reposting every two years, or more frequently

The Period Ship Handbook 3


This is the third handbook to be released and covers ten period ships. Each ship is available as a kit and the handbook provides a helpful narrative for the builder, providing black and white photographs to illustrate key stages of the construction. There is also a centre section of colour photographs illustrating finished examples of each ship. This handbook will greatly assist those sailors wishing to build an interesting and impressive model period ship during the winter months

The Pearl Harbour Papers


Pearl Harbour for Americans is one of those seminal events etched into the national memory. It was also a military and political event of breath taking audacity. Inspired by the British naval air attack on the Italian Fleet, the Japanese Navy demonstrated again the decisive influence that the still juvenile aviation technology could have on established battle sytems, when used with daring and sound planning. Goldstein and Dillon have used original Japanese documents to explain and place into context the plans, events and personalities. This is a fascinating approach that places the reader inside the Japanese thought process through the preparation and execution of the battle that irrevocably brought the United States into WWII