Maritime Books - Vintage Airfix


Maritime books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- 'Total Germany' - By David Wragg..
- 13 Sharks - By John D Grainger..
- 1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose? - By Peter Marsden..
- A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy - By Alastair Wilson..
- A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009 - By David Wragg..
- A Century of Carrier Aviation - By David Hobbs..
- A Century of Sea Travel - By Christopher Deakes, Tom Stanley..
- A Century of US Navy Combat Carriers 1917-2017 - By Tony Holmes..
- A Great & Glorious Victory - By Richard Harding..
- A Naval History of the Peloponnesian War - By Marc G DeSantis..
- A Postcard History of the Passenger Liner - By Christopher Deakes..
- A Shipyard at War - By Ian Johnston..
- A Spy's London - By Roy Berkeley..
- Abandon Ship! - By Tony McCrum..
- Above us the Waves - By James Benson, C E T Warren..

 


 

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'Total Germany'

By David Wragg

'Total Germany'Description:

On the declaration of war in 1939 the British Admiralty signalled all warships and naval bases 'Total Germany, Total Germany'.

It was fortunate that of Germany's three armed services, the Kriegsmarine under Grosseradmiral Erich Raeder was the least well prepared. True, Admiral Karl Donitz's U-Boat force was to give the Allies many anxious times but Hitler was never comfortable or competent in his handling of naval surface forces.

Total Germany is a concise yet comprehensive account of the Royal Navy's part in the war at sea and the measures taken to ensure victory. The different approaches taken by the warring countries are expertly examined. The author reviews the differing strategies and tactics of the various theatres such as the Far East, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Arctic.

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13 Sharks

By John D Grainger

13 SharksDescription:

John D Grainger charts the careers of the thirteen vessels that have served the Royal Navy under the name HMS Shark. Despite the ferocious name, they have all been relatively small vessels including one brigantine, five sloops, one Sixth Rate, a gunvessel, four destroyers and a submarine. Collectively they therefore give a good representation of the various roles of these types, which receive far less attention than larger, more glamorous ships. Furthermore, as the first entered service in 1699 and the last was sunk in 1944 (having the dubious distinction of being the only Allied vessel lost on D-Day), they illustrate the changes and continuities in the Royal Navy and war at sea across almost 250 years. 
In each case the author considers the origin of the ship, the purpose for which it was designed and employed, its captains and where possible its crew, as well as the activities of the ship itself and its final fate; in addition background information of a general nature is included as a necessary context for those actions.

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1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?

By Peter Marsden

1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?Description:

The raising of the Mary Rose in 1982 was a remarkable feat of archaeology and her subsequent preservation and display at Portsmouth a triumph of technical skill and imagination. She is more than a relic, however. She has a story to tell, and her sinking in the Solent in 1545, when under attack by the French, and the reasons for it, have intrigued historians for generations. With the benefit of access to her remains, archaeologists have been able to slowly unravel the mystery of her foundering on a calm summer’s day in July 1545.

This new book by one of the country’s leading experts on the Mary Rose contains much that is published for the first time. It has the first full account of the battle in which Henry VIII’s warship was sunk, and tells the stories of the English and French admirals. It examines the design and construction of the ship and how she was used, and develops themes begun when he was earlier commissioned by the Mary Rose Trust to write the multi-volume history of the ship. He shows for the first time conclusively that the French fleet arrived unexpectedly to seize the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth a day later than was once believed, that the many bodies found in the wreck reflect her at action stations, and that the ship had had an extra deck added and was therefore more unstable than was previously thought. Finally, the author makes it clear who was responsible for the loss of the Mary Rose, after describing what happened onboard, deck by deck, in her last moments afloat.

The fascinating revelation will intrigue the general reader as well as the historian and archaeologist and the book is set to become the last word on the career of this most famous of ships.

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy

By Alastair Wilson

A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal NavyDescription:

Despite its recent decline in size and influence, for much of the twentieth century the Royal Navy was a major player in world history. Its senior officers carried out – and sometimes made – British policy in peace and war, but with the exception of a few star figures the details of their careers have never been published. This book is the first volume of a major study intended to provide a resumé of the service lives of every flag officer, in the style of the great nineteenth century biographical dictionaries of Marshall and O'Byrne. Every entry is based on primary sources, including the Navy's confidential personnel files, cross-referenced with general historical data and, in the case of living officers, correspondence with the subjects themselves.

The book comes with a CD which contains the service histories and careers of 336 most senior admirals on the Navy List from 1900 onwards. The length of each entry varies with the importance of the officer covered, but each includes both an outline of their careers and significant dates, like promotions and awards. In all, the CD contains more than 600,000 words - a truly epic work. The majority are not even included in the Dictionary of National Biography, and as such, this work will be a boon to historians, and invaluable to genealogists. A monumental and unique naval historical resource.

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A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009

By David Wragg

A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009Description:

Above the Waves is the history of the first century of British Naval aviation, with personal accounts adding colour to the achievements both in technology, such as angled flight decks, mirror deck landing systems, helicopter assault and vertical take-off, and in operations, including the sinking of the Konigsberg and the daring attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, convoy protection, operations with the United States Navy in the Pacific, then, post-war, Suez, and later the recovery of the Falklands from Argentine invasion.

The Royal Navy was in the forefront of aviation from a very early stage. As the author reveals Officers such as the legendary Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher quickly recognised the strategic and tactical importance of air power. Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, volunteered the Navy for the air defence of the UK in WW1 but with the formation of the RAF in 1918 the Navy had a fierce fight to retain its own air arms and this is a struggle that has continued up to the present day.

Not only are there many thrilling accounts of operations but this fascinating book also includes a chronology of major events. Above the Waves will appeal to those who have served, those who serve today and those who intend to serve in the future, and for their relatives and the many enthusiasts who sense the particular excitement of air operations at sea.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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A Century of Carrier Aviation

By David Hobbs

A Century of Carrier AviationDescription:

It is now almost exactly a hundred years since a heavier-than-air craft first took off and landed on a warship, and from the very beginning flying at sea made unique demands on men and machines. As warplanes grew larger, faster and heavier, air operations from ships were only possible at all through constant development in technology, techniques and tactics. 

This book charts the progress and growing effectiveness of naval air power, concentrating on the advances and inventions - most of them British - that allowed shipborne aircraft to match their land-based counterparts, and looking at their contribution to 20th century warfare. 

Written by a retired Fleet Air Arm pilot and and award-winning historian of naval flying, this is a masterly overview of the history of aviation in the world's navies down to the present day. Heavily illustrated from the author's comprehensive collection of photographs, the book will be essential reading to anyone with an interest in navies or air power.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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A Century of Sea Travel

By Christopher Deakes, Tom Stanley

A Century of Sea TravelDescription:

This book is a voyage through the life of the passenger steamship, a voyage described by travellers who sailed on these vessels, and it carries within it their thoughts and experiences, mirrored here in words and pictures. The pictures are memories of ships and places in times gone by, glimpses of steamship travel through the years. In memoirs and letters home, diaries and journals the writers recorded every aspect of their seagoing experiences: they wrote of their ship, its crew and their fellow passengers, of the food and entertainment on board, of romance, accidents and disasters, and of being dreadfully sick. They noted incidents on board that amused or angered them, described the ports at which their ship called, and the fear and excitement of storms at sea. The writers were emigrants or colonial rulers, men of letters, young men seeking their fortune, wives on their way to new homes abroad; some were rich, many were poor and escaping the hardship of downtrodden lives; all had in common the experience of voyaging at sea. The author has woven their words into a narrative that describes so evocatively a world that has now disappeared, and with the huge range of illustrations brings back to life the golden age of the steamship.

Beautifully designed and printed, this book will delight armchair travellers, ship enthusiasts and all those who still go to sea to seek romance and adventure.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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A Century of US Navy Combat Carriers 1917-2017

By Tony Holmes

A Century of US Navy Combat Carriers 1917-2017Description:

The US Navy has been at the forefront of naval aviation at sea for almost a century, its aircraft carriers growing ever larger in size over the decades. A powerful force projector in both war and peace, the combat carrier has evolved to keep pace with modern technology and changing threats. Today’s nuclear behemoths of 100,000 tons can trace their lineage back to the converted battlecruisers of the 1920s and 1930s, which were the first truly modern carriers capable of operating close to 80 aeroplanes. 

This volume charts the development of US Navy fixed-wing and helicopter carriers throughout the Second World War, the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, the Cold War and the ongoing War on Terror. Carriers such as Saratoga, Lexington, Enterprise and Constellation all feature in this volume in photographs that have been carefully sourced from official and private archives from across the globe. Each image has a detailed caption that chronicles the exploits of these ships - the robust and impressive combat carriers of the US Navy.

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A Great & Glorious Victory

By Richard Harding

A Great & Glorious VictoryDescription:

Like the victory over the Armada and the battle of Britain in 1940, Trafalgar has attained the iconic status of a battle that preserved national independence and demonstrated the particular courage and skills of the nation. 'A great and glorious victory' was how Vice Admiral Collingwood described Nelson's defeat of the enemy navies.In October 2005 an international conference was held at Portsmouth and well-known historians and naval officers from around the world gave a series of papers on aspects of the battle. Containing a wealth of new information they are now form the core of this book. Twelve chapters cover every aspect of the battle but also explore important themes such as the the invasion threat, and the British defences against invasion in the years before 1805. Perhaps the most groundbreaking contribution is from the 'Inshore Squadron', a naval war-gaming group, which produced a timeline that is the most accurate yet available and reveals, amongst other things, the precise nature of the ship-on-ship actions. A DVD of the full battle will be available separately. The battle is brought to life in a way which distinguishes it from all the other accounts that have appeared and offers enthusiasts and historians the most up-to-date and important reassessment that is available.

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A Naval History of the Peloponnesian War

By Marc G DeSantis

A Naval History of the Peloponnesian WarDescription:

Naval power played a vital role in the Peloponnesian War. The conflict pitted Athens against a powerful coalition including the preeminent land power of the day, Sparta. Only Athens’ superior fleet, her ‘wooden walls’, by protecting her vital supply routes allowed her to survive. It also allowed the strategic freedom of movement to strike back where she chose, most famously at Sphacteria, where a Spartan force was cut off and forced to surrender.

Athens’ initial tactical superiority was demonstrated at the Battle of Chalcis, where her ships literally ran rings round the opposition but this gap closed as her enemies adapted. The great amphibious expedition to Sicily was a watershed, a strategic blunder compounded by tactical errors which brought defeat and irreplaceable losses. Although Athens continued to win victories at sea, at Arginusae for example, her naval strength had been severely weakened while the Spartans built up their fleets with Persian subsidies. It was another naval defeat, at Aegispotomi (405 BC) that finally sealed Athens’ fate. Marc De Santis narrates these stirring events while analysing the technical, tactical and strategic aspects of the war at sea.

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A Postcard History of the Passenger Liner

By Christopher Deakes

A Postcard History of the Passenger LinerDescription:

From around 1880 for almost 100 years shipowners commissioned a wealth of paintings that depicted, as well as their magnificent liners, the routes they travelled, their exotic destinations, and life on board. These paintings, rich in imagination and atmosphere, appeared on posters and postcards to advertise the companies and their ships; and so was born a whole genre that produced tens of thousands of images that form a wonderful record of the great era of the passenger liner.

Here, bought vividly to life in more than 500 colourful postcards, are the ships in which so many of our predecessors sailed, as emigrants, soldiers or administrators in distant lands, or simply as tourists. These cards - now highly collectible - show how the ships developed over the years, and are also a fine tribute to the artists who painted them. A glossary of some 170 illustrators forms an important reference section in the book; the author also gives useful advice on collecting.

This new paperback edition will be sought after by postcard collectors as well as liner enthusiasts, and by all those with an interest in the vanished world of elegant travel on the finest ships of their day. 

‘An evocative story of the vanished world of elegant ships and leisurely travel ... sumptuous.’ Western Morning News

This is a really fabulous book.’ Ocean Liner Society

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A Shipyard at War

By Ian Johnston

A Shipyard at WarDescription:

Although best known for large liners and capital ships, between 1914 and the completion of the wartime programmes in 1920 the Clydebank shipyard of John Brown & Sons built a vast range of vessels – major warships down to destroyers and submarines, unusual designs like a seaplane carrier and submarine depot ship, and even a batch of war-standard merchant ships. This makes the yard a particularly good exemplar of the wartime shipbuilding effort. Like most shipyards of the time, Clydebank employed professional photographers to record the whole process of construction, using large-plate cameras that produced pictures of stunning clarity and detail; but unlike most shipyard photography, Clydebank's collection has survived, although relatively few of the images have ever been published. For this book some 200 of the most telling were carefully selected, and scanned to the highest standards, depicting in unprecedented detail every aspect of the yard's output, from the liner Aquitania in 1914 to the cruiser Enterprise, completed in 1920.

Although ships are the main focus of the book, the photos also chronicle the impact of the war on working conditions in the yard and, perhaps most noticeable in the introduction of women in large numbers to the workforce. With lengthy and informative captions, and an authoritative introduction by Ian Johnston, this book is a vivid portrait of a lost industry at the height of its success.

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A Spy's London

By Roy Berkeley

A Spy's LondonDescription:

A lively and fact-filled walk book of 136 sites in Central London relating to spies, spy-catchers and subversives from more than a century of London's secret history.

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Abandon Ship!

By Tony McCrum

Abandon Ship!Description:

Captain Tony McCrum's naval career started in 1932. He survived the sinking of HMS Skipjack at Dunkirk and went on to serve on minesweepers and at sea during the landings at Salerno. His wartime experiences were recently published as Sunk by Stukas.

This book covers the second part of his naval career between 1945 and 1963. Having arrived back in Plymouth from Trincomlee as a lieutenant aboard the destroyer Tarter in November 1945, his first appointment was as senior instructor at the RN Signals School in Devonport. There then followed two appointments as Flag Lieutenant; first to Admiral Pridham-Wippell, CinC Plymouth Command and then Admiral Sir Rhoderick McGrigor, CinC Home Fleet, where he was also Deputy Fleet Communications Officer. He was based on the admiral's flagship, the battleship HMS Duke of York which he joined in 1947. The fleet exercised in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and 'showed the flag' in various ports in the USA, Caribbean Islands and the Baltic. In May 1948 he was promoted Lt. Commander. In 1950 he instructed at the main Naval Signals School at Leyedene House near Petersfield.

Promoted Commander, now 32 years of age, he was surprised to be appointed to accompany King George VI on a state visit to Australia and New Zealand. This was to be aboard the liner SS Gothic as there was no Royal Yacht at that time. However after months of preparation the voyage was cancelled because of the King's terminal illness and the coronation of Britain's new Queen.

In November 1954 he took his first command, HMS Concord, a destroyer in the 8th Destroyer Squadron based in Hong Kong. During his eighteen month captaincy of this ship he saw action off the coast of Malaya and a lengthy visit to Australia to assist in the aftermath of a hurricane. After a spell ashore as Training Commander at HMS Ganges and after promotion to Captain in 1958, he was sent to Norway on the staff of the CinC Northern European Command. In November 1960 he was again given a seagoing command. He was to skipper HMS Meon and responsibility for the Amphibious Warfare Squadron in the Persian Gulf. The squadron composed of Meon, two tank-landing ships, four tank-landing craft and a Rhino (a pontoon-like vessel for the shallow-water landing of tanks). He was ordered to cover an area extending from the East African coast, the Red Sea and to the Persian Gulf. Having worked-up this mixed bunch of vessels and their crews, plus army personnel he was confronted with the defence of Kuwait when it was threatened by the Iraqi dictator General Kassem in 1961. He was charged with landing the twelve tanks in his squadron to defend Kuwait's main port of Shuwaikh. This was successfully carried out under difficult circumstances and the Iraqi invasion was defeated. After 42 years in the RN, Tony retired to be with his wife and young family

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Above us the Waves

By James Benson, C E T Warren

Above us the WavesDescription:

It was the Italians who pioneered the use of two-man human torpedoes or 'chariots', and their attacks on ships of the Royal Navy in Alexandria Harbour in 1941 caused Winston Churchill to write to the Chief of Staffs committee to enquire what was being done to emulate these daring attacks. The result was the development of British 'chariots' which were regarded as stop-gaps until the X-craft or midget submarines could be deployed. The book is divided into five parts. The first covers the development, training, growing pains and the attempt on the Tirpitz, the second and third to Mediterranean and Norwegian operations, while the fourth deals with the coast of Fortress Europe and the Normandy Beaches. Part Five considers the special preparations for the Far East and the exploits achieved in the fight against the Japanese. There are several appendices and an index to complete an absorbing record of a novel and important innovation in warfare.

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