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Even so it left a sour taste in my mouth.


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Now was not the time to think of right or wrong, only of survival. His latest work is an ambitious one: discussing the role of the Royal Navy in the Pacific from the first voyage of Captain Cook in to the withdrawal from Hong Kong in , writes Prof Eric Grove of the University of Salford.

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Although the order of the book is broadly chronological, each chapter is intended to stand more or less on its own. The Royal Navy did play a highly-positive and stabilising role, especially in exercising the Pax Britannica in the Pacific in the 19th Century. It would probably have been better if the author had confined himself to this period as the coverage of later years becomes rather thin, doing little to enlarge our understanding of well-known events such as the Battle of Coronel, the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse and the activities of the British Pacific Fleet.

O Ships ceremonially dressed in Hong Kong harbour in November for the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh who commanded HMS Galatea — the wooden screw frigate in the centre of this photograph — on her world tour. The Grove Review are some important gaps with nothing about RN operations against Indonesia in the s.

Taking the reader by a diminishing level of surprise, but increasing levels of incredulity turning to hilarity as he or she works through the book, we are presented with what can only be described as totally unnecessary and often irrelevant rants against those the author does not like. This just diminishes everything the book is trying to say, even where its less-. One suspects there is an alternative view! Perhaps because his contemporary sources reflect. This is a really odd book. At times it is interesting and even absorbing.

But at other times it reads like a poor script for Alf Garnett or a popular national tabloid on a bad day. Its sheer self indulgence is quite extraordinary and a reflection of its publication by a small private press, Winter Productions, based in Derby, England and Wellington, New Zealand. One doubts if any larger house would have accepted it, certainly without major editing. In this respect it is an example of vanity publishing at its worst.

Those who still wish to engage with this strange book can get it off the internet by googling its title. He was in fine form and every bit as blunt and to-the-point as he was in his book Endure no Makeshifts; I was startled when he told me that he had been bored at Dartmouth and the only thing of value he had learned there was how to lie.

Captains who went down with the ship

An ex-US army officer, Matthew B. After covering an eventful career, fully half the book covers his last appointment as commanding. He took an unworked up brand new battleship to sea, with contractors men still aboard working on her main armament to pursue the Bismarck. He saw HMS Hood sunk while his own ship was hit seven times one unexploded 15in shell was found only when she returned to port and was himself wounded when the bridge was hit — only two others on the bridge survived — but crucially Prince of Wales hit the Bismarck causing a fuel leak that sealed her fate.

Capt Leach broke off the action after he lost a turret due to mechanical failure and was subsequently threatened with a court martial for his pains, fortunately not followed through.

Matthew B. Wills (Author of In the Highest Traditions of the Royal Navy)

The author spends an entire chapter on the signals and human intelligence matters that he believes could have prevented the loss of the two ships to air attack when they attempted to prevent Japanese landings in Malaya, before dealing with the sinkings. He concludes by bringing the family story full circle; as the Falklands War was getting under way a Labour MP warned the prime minister of the danger to the task force of air attack. It is chronological in its unfolding and the accurate dates given make it easy to link his personal story to the current events we hear about in the news, writes Frederic Gay of the Royal Marines Historical Society.

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About this product Product Information The biography of a lauded war hero who went down with his ship. Additional Product Features Author s. Matthew B. He went on to practise in Colorado Springs for 32 years. He lives in Colorado Springs.

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He served at sea on the Home, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Far East stations as well as two periods ashore in the Ministry of Defence and two on the Commander-in-Chief's staff at Northwood. He lives in Buckinghamshire. He was First Sea Lord from to Show more Show less. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best-selling in Non Fiction See all.