Home' Ausmarine : November 2010 Contents THE MIRACLE OF THE KENT
A Tale of Courage, Faith and Fire
By NICHOLAS TRACY
A classic tale of brilliant seamanship that led
to the rescue of a substantial part of the crew
and passengers aboard the East Indiaman
'Kent' which caught fire and eventually sank
in a Bay of Biscay storm.
The leading rescuer was the brig 'Cambria', one-seventh the
size of the 'Kent'. In this highly celebrated incident that
occurred in 1825 the Captain of the 'Cambria' and his crew and
even some of his passengers performed heroically and
Of the 148 crew and more than 500 passengers aboard the
'Kent' some 400 were saved. Without the heroism of the Captain
and crew of 'Cambria', it is highly unlikely there would have been
any survivors. Setting out from England with a total complement
of 42 people, 'Cambria' returned with more than 600.
Even more amazingly, more 'Kent' survivors were rescued by
another small ship the 'Caroline'. While the exact number of
casualties was never calculated, the very high percentage who
survived was, indeed, a miracle.
Heroism, persistence and amazing seamanship all
Available from Westholme Publishing, Chicago, USA.
SECRETS OF THE
By TOMMY SALMON
& SHAUN WHALE (Yes, really!)
An enormous, elaborate and quite
beautiful book of exceptional
photographs of the south coast of the Australian state of
New South Wales.
That piece of Australia's coast is undoubtedly one of the most
attractive anywhere. The photographer and author -- whose names
apparently, are genuine -- have done it proud. So have their
publisher and printer. An amazing production.
A book that inspires endless superlatives, it also inspires the
reader to rush off and spend more time exploring this paradise.
Available from Jules Laverne Publishing, Sydney, Australia.
HELL TO PAY
Operation Downfall and
the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947
By D.M. GIANGRECO
A most welcome and important book that
should once and for all demolish the
sentimental and revisionist, anti-atomic
bomb nonsense that has been presented as
history over the last half-decade or so.
The author shows completely and conclusively that an invasion
of Japan would have led to at least five million unnecessary deaths.
Roughly ten percent of them were certain to have been Americans.
Japanese behaviour throughout the Pacific War could lead to no
other conclusion. Taiwan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, Milne
Bay, Guadalcanal and other battles showed most clearly the
fanatical, suicidal, fight-to-the-death approach of the Japanese
Imperial Forces. Any amphibious landing on the Japanese Home
Islands would have met with the same response, if not worse.
There is no doubt in the author's -- or this reviewer's -- mind
that President Truman's, and his cabinet's, decision was
completely correct. While some Japanese and many western
revisionist historians still do not appreciate the fact that their
decision saved many millions of lives, the Japanese people were
fortunate indeed they surrendered when they did.
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.
AND THE PERFORMANCE
OF SAILING YACHTS
The Science Behind Sailing
Yachts and Their Design
By FABIO FOSSATI
What, you might ask, has sailing yacht
design got to do with modern commercial vessels?
Well, actually quite a lot. Modern vessels are increasingly
dependent on super efficient hydro and aero dynamics because of
their requirements for increased speed and lower operating costs
and emissions. For much the same reasons it is distinctly possible
there will be at least a partial return to sail powered or sail assisted
So, that is where we came in. This very clearly written and well
illustrated book offers an excellent state-of-the-art description of
the art and science of aero and hydro dynamics.
Available from Adlard Coles Nautical, London, UK.
THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS
By BASIL LUBBOCK
Another Lubbock / Brown, Son & Ferguson
classic on the heyday of the clipper ships.
In this the author focuses on the Australia
and New Zealand run from the Victorian
gold rush days in the early 1850s until the
turn of the nineteenth century.
Divided into four parts, the book looks first at the wooden
clippers of Liverpool's Black Ball and White Star lines and their less
It moves on to profile the composite, wood and iron ships and
the clipper barques that traded to Tasmania and South Australia as
well as Melbourne and Sydney.
Next we look at the final forty years of the iron ships on the same
routes. Finally, New Zealand is examined, particularly the rivalry
within the Shaw Savill and New Zealand Shipping company duopoly.
As with all the Lubbock books, they are very detailed histories
covering the trades; the ships; their designs, construction and
equipment; and, very importantly, their owners, captains and
crews. This and fourteen other Lubbock classics are currently being
offered as a set of fifteen at a very attractive price.
Available from Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, UK.
MIGRANT SHIPS TO AUSTRALIA
AND NEW ZEALAND
1900 to 1939
By PETER PLOWMAN
Both Australia and New Zealand have,
since first European settlement, had an
almost insatiable need for immigrants.
"Populate or perish" was a popular
political catch cry.
Of course, that migration, at least until the 1970s, had desirably
to be European and, preferably, British sourced.
That flow of migrants required large numbers of dedicated
passenger and cargo/passenger ships. The indefatigable author, a
hyper-enthusiastic shipping historian describes them well.
Most were steamships although the later vessels began to be
fitted with diesels. Most built after 1930 were requisitioned as
troop ships, armed merchant cruisers or hospital ships. Some of
those did not survive the Second World War.
Most, also, had interesting careers. These are described well by
the author. His vignettes comprise a very valuable record.
Available from Rosenberg Publishing, Dural, Australia.
November 2010 AUSMARINE
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