Home' Ausmarine : October 2014 Contents 21st CENTURY MAHAN
Sound Military Conclusions for the
Edited by BENJAMIN F. ARMSTRONG
Alfred Thayer Mahan has been described
as the US Navy's Von Clausewitz, its
guiding philosopher for its officers
Mahan was truly a naval intellectual. A
wide, practical and abstract strategic thinker. He was far-sighted
and, fortunately for those who followed him, had a remarkable
talent for succinctly putting his thoughts across in writing.
There are many who believe his ideas outdated to the point of
irrelevancy. The author, obviously, is from the opposing school.
He strongly believes that Mahan is just as relevant today as he was
seventy, ninety or a hundred years ago.
In this very valuable analysis he looks at and interprets five of
Mahan's finest essays. He very logically and rationally places them
in the current context where they sit very well.
Available from The Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
Journeys Into The Great
By MYRON ARMS
Obsessed with the far north Atlantic, and
fascinated by the tales of St Brendan's
voyages there, the author spent months
each year for a quarter of a century in
Sailing his home-built yacht 'Brendan's Isle' he has covered a lot
of that enchanting but inhospitable part of the world. Over the
period 1984 to 2008 he wrote numerous articles and essays about his
voyages. They have been published in numerous nautical magazines.
Put together as in this book they describe the area very
effectively and enable the reader to understand what drove the
author to his ventures.
Something to read in front of a warm fire.
Available from Upper Access, Hinesburg, USA.
THE LIFEBOAT SERVICE
Station by Station
By NICHOLAS LEACH
Many mariners outside of the United
Kingdom and Ireland would be surprised
to learn that the Royal National Lifeboat
Institution is just as well established
around Ireland's rugged coasts as it is in Britain.
This beautifully presented little book clears up the misconception
very effectively. Commencing with a brief but informative history of
the lifeboat service in Ireland -- starting in the early 1800s -- it shows
what an impressive organisation it has become.
A series of sensibly formatted and very well illustrated
chapterettes describe all forty-five currently active lifeboat stations
located right around the Irish coast.
If you happen to get into trouble at sea off Ireland it is
comforting to know that such an effective force of potential
rescuers is always at the ready.
Available from Amberley Publishing, Stroud, UK.
DEEP SEA AND FOREIGN GOING
Inside Shipping, The Invisible
Industry That Brings You 90%
By ROSE GEORGE
A very well researched and written, if
somewhat biased to the left, appreciation
of the modern maritime industry and
most of its people.
The author, like most people, suffered from sea-blindness. She,
like them, had no idea that the 100,000 or so cargo ships around
the world move more than 90 per cent of the world's freight. She
corrected that knowledge deficit by taking a 9,300-mile voyage
from the United Kingdom to Singapore as a guest of Maersk.
She learnt a lot. Her experience inspired a wide and deep
reading programme which is reflected in her book. Importantly,
she talked with many people, especially crewmembers. She gets it.
As the book's jacket describes it "... the hidden industry
without which we'd all be sunk". It's a pity that the industry has
not seen fit to show itself in similar ways to other similarly
Available from Portobello Books, London, UK.
DOCTOR ON BOARD
Your Practical Guide to Medical
Emergencies at Sea
By DR. J. HAUERT
Perhaps more accurately titled "Doctor
NOT on Board" this book is a very clear
and simple how-to-do-it for when you
have a medical emergency and there is no
doctor on board.
In the usual Adlard Coles Nautical style that incorporates
simplicity and good, clear illustration, this is a minimalist update
of the many medical texts for mariners.
Easy to use and quick to reference, it is just what you need
when a medical emergency occurs, as they usually do, out
Good sensible, practical advice.
Available from Adlard Coles Nautical, London, UK.
THE AMERICAN CLIPPER SHIP,
A Comprehensive History, with a
Listing of Builders and Their Ships
By GLENN A. KNOBLOCK
This substantial book is exactly what it
says it is in the sub-title. Extensively
researched and well put together, it has
a very useful index and a most
There are more than 360 pages of extremely detailed
descriptions of most the world's significant clippers and their
builders. There are also numerous excellent engravings to illustrate
Unfortunately, though, there are no line plans to show the
reader the all-important shapes of these breakthrough vessels. For
those you need to refer, for example, to Howard Chapelle's fine
book The Search for Speed Under Sail.
Allowing for that discrepancy, however, this is still a very useful
presentation of very important and interesting history.
Available from McFarland & Company, Jefferson, USA.
AUSMARINE October 2014
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