"Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews" PROVIDED BY - Rob Jerrard

Anova Books,Conway Maritime Press Reviewed in 2013


The Commando Pocket Manual
1940-1945
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
Size (h x w): 180 x 120 (h x w)
Author: Chris Westhorp
ISBN: 9781844861590
Publishers: Conway
Price: 7.99
Publication Date: 2013

Publisher's Title Information

A fascinating insight into the training of the special service volunteer soldiers who formed the Commandos.
The Commandos were created by Winston Churchill in 1940 as a 'butcher and bolt' raiding unit to destroy vital targets in German occupied Europe. Recruits for this 'special service' were all volunteers, drawn from the British Army, and later, from the Royal Marines and other Allied armies. Commando training was extremely demanding - men had to be physically fit, and show initiative, mental toughness and adaptability. The training courses were designed to cultivate these qualities and to simulate real battle experiences, which included the use of live ammunition. Commandos learned a diverse range of skills at dedicated training centres in the remote Scottish Highlands. This pocket-book draws on authentic training manuals, lecture notes, course literature and other material from the commando schools to give a real insight into this highly specialized fighting unit - demonstrating how commandos were taught to live, fight and move on offensive operations, initially as raiding parties, and later as skilled assault infantry. Sections of the book cover survival and fieldcraft skills; night operations; assaulting obstacles; use of equipment - such as the COPPS canoe for beach reconnaissance and sabotage; and weapons training, including the Thompson submachine gun, the Bren gun, and the famous emblem of the commandos - the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife.

The Author

Chris Westhorp is an experienced freelance editor, writer and researcher. Formerly of Arms and Armour Press and Duncan Baird Publishing, he is familiar with a wide range of illustrated non-fiction subjects, with a specialist interest in military history and aviation. Chris is the author of Ships of World War II, Aircraft of World War II, and The World's Armies amongst numerous other titles.

More Information on the Publisher's Website about, "The Commando Pocket Book 1940-1945::2013"


Nelson Navy & Nation - The Royal Navy & The British People 1688-1815
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Edited by : Dr Quintin Colvill, Dr James Davey, Marianne Czisnik, Roger Knight, Andrew Lambert, Brian Lavery, Margaret Lincoln, Roland Pietsch, N. A. M. Rodger, Dan Snow, Ted Vallance and Kathleen Wilson.
ISBN: 9781844862078
Publishers: Conway (Anova)
Price: 20
Publication Date: 2013

Publisher's Title Information

Nelson, Navy and Nationseeks to explore the Royal Navy's relationship with Britain from the Glorious Revolution to the Napoleonic Wars, encompassing three central themes: the realities of naval life in this period, the navy's connection to society, culture and national identity, and the story of Nelson's life and career.

A series of chapters contributed by a distinguished panel of leading authors and historians will illuminate these themes through discrete but interconnected topics to give a fascinating contextual overview of life in Nelson's Navy, internal and external perceptions of the Royal Navy and changes in these perspectives throughout the period 1688-1815, and the life and career of Admiral Horatio Nelson himself. Replete with stunning imagery featuring historical artworks, paintings and objects from the collections of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, London, the book will combine accessible narrative history for the general reader with superb visual appeal, forming an ideal companion to the Museum's new permanent 'Nelson, Navy and Nation' gallery, which is scheduled to open in October 2013.

The Editors

Dr Quintin Colville and Dr James Davey are Curators of Naval History at the National Maritime Museum. Further contributions on the Georgian Navy from Marianne Czisnik, Roger Knight, Andrew Lambert, Brian Lavery, Margaret Lincoln, Roland Pietsch, N.A.M Rodger, Dan Snow, Ted Vallance and Kathleen Wilson.

More Information on the Publisher's Website about, "Nelson Navy & Nation 2013"


Able Seamen
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Brian Lavery
ISBN: 9781844861408
Publishers: Conway
Price: 25
Publication Date: 2012

Publisher's Title Information

Brian Lavery returns with the second volume of his engaging social history of the Royal Navy's 'lower deck', exploring the world of the seamen (as opposed to the officers of the quarterdeck). In Rule Britannia the author addresses a range of issues central to the evolution of the seaman through 89 years of change, including 'Jacky' Fisher's sweeping reforms and the concept of the 'new seaman'; the rise of stokers, artificers and engineers and the traditional seaman's 'crisis of identity' as the navy moved from sail to steam, and from broadside batteries to sophisticated turrets and fire-control systems; the modernization and standardization of signals and telegraphy; the rise of 'small ships' as a destroyer fleet was created to fulfil new strategic requirements; the creation of the submarine service; the repercussions of the First World War and the grand fleet engagement at Jutland; expressions of discontent such as the infamous Invergordon mutiny; and the lead-up to the Second World War. Readable, engaging and authoritative, it chronicles an important stage in the history of the Royal Navy and illuminates the inherent adaptability of the lower deck, as new technologies demanded increased professionalism, specialization and training. The book also examines the changing social structure of the Navy, and the great demands made on the Service throughout the British Empire.

The Author

Brian Lavery is one of Britain's leading naval historians and a prolific author. A Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and a renowned expert on the sailing navy and the Royal Navy, in 2007 he won the prestigious Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award. His naval writing was further honoured in 2008 with the Society of Nautical Research's Anderson Medal. His recent titles include Royal Tars (2010), We Shall Fight On The Beaches (2009), In Which They Served (2008), Churchill's Navy (2006), and the Sunday Times bestseller Empire of the Seas (2010).

More Information on the Publisher's Website about, "Able Seaman - The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy 1850-1939:: 2012"


Hostilities Only - Training the Wartime Royal Navy
Illustrations: 50 illustrations
Edition: 2011
Format: Paperback
Author: Brian Lavery
ISBN: 9781844861460
Publishers: Conway
Price: 12.99
Publication Date:

Publisher's Title Information

Just over a million people - 923,000 men and 86,000 women - served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. They enlisted after a huge recruitment campaign necessitated by the need for a massive injection of manpower. To this end, thousands of 'hostilities only' personnel joined the service, and these inexperienced recruits would play a vital role for the duration of the war.

Using first-hand accounts and archival research, acclaimed historian Brian Lavery reveals the scale of the training operations initiated for these recruits. Rapid and effective training was vital, as most had never been to sea before; indeed, some could not even swim. The book examines the methods used to instil the skills, attitude and naval discipline needed to serve in many different roles and theatres of war. In the author's trademark anecdote-led style, Hostilities Only recounts the experiences of the men and women who were plunged into a challenging and unfamiliar environment, giving new insight into one of the major untold stories of the Second World War.

The Author

Brian Lavery is one of Britain's leading naval historians and a prolific author. A Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and a renowned expert on the sailing navy and the Royal Navy, in 2007 he won the prestigious Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award. His naval writing was further honoured in 2008 with the Society of Nautical Research's Anderson Medal. His recent titles include Royal Tars (2010), We Shall Fight On The Beaches (2009), In Which They Served (2008), Churchill's Navy (2006), and the Sunday Times bestseller Empire of the Seas (2010).

More Information on the Publisher's Website about, "Hostilities Only - Training the Wartime Royal Navy"


All Hands
The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy, 1939 to the Present Day
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Illustrations: 16 colour and 40 black and white illustrations
Author: Brian Lavery
ISBN: 9781844861552
Publishers: Conway Maritime, Anova Books
Price: 14.99
Publication Date: 2012

Publisher's Title Information

The story of the British naval seaman from 1939 to the present
First-hand accounts and anecdotes enliven an authoritative text by today's pre-eminent historian of the Royal Navy
Concludes Brian Lavery's acclaimed trilogy on the history of the Royal Navy's backbone the men who served 'below deck'
In 1939 the Royal Navy was still the largest in the world and the most prestigious of the British armed services. Manning the ships and bases of the navy were more than 118,000 men, the vast majority seamen of 'the lower deck'. This is their story, from the Second World War, when the navy reached a record level of 790,000 men, via conscription and National Service to the present day.
All Hands examines how the seaman adapted to enormous technical, social and operational changes. Proud of his long traditions, the seaman has had to adapt to a very different global and national situation. The Falklands War of 1982 provided the men of the navy with an opportunity to demonstrate that they had lost none of their prowess and courage since the Second World War, but in the new millennium the threat at sea comes less from nations and navies than from pirates and terrorists.
In increasingly high-tech ships, special skills have come to the fore - expertise with electronics is now largely valued more than muscle power, gunnery or seamanship - resulting in a change of culture. As ever, class is particularly sensitive for the status of the lower deck, while the navy has had to fall into line with the rest of society and accept the rights of ethnic minorities and homosexuals. And the introduction of the women's service, the Wrens, eventually resulted in women serving alongside men at sea. The seagoing environment of the lower deck changed too: out went the rum ration, while hammocks disappeared, to be replaced by bunks.
Based on primary research and first-hand accounts, All Hands examines these issues, including recruitment, training and uniform in this, the third of Brian Lavery's acclaimed trilogy, which began with Royal Tars and Able Seamen, completing the history of the naval rating over a period of some 500 years.

The Author

Brian Lavery is one of Britain's leading naval historians and a prolific author. A Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and a renowned expert on the sailing navy and the Royal Navy, in 2007 he won the prestigious Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award. His naval writing was further honoured in 2008 with the Society of Nautical Research's Anderson Medal. His recent titles include Able Seamen (2011), Royal Tars (2010), We Shall Fight On The Beaches (2009), In Which They Served (2008), Churchill's Navy (2006), and the Sunday Times bestseller Empire of the Seas (2010).

More Information on the Publisher's Website about, "All Hands, The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy, 1939 to the Present Day"

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"Royal Navy & Maritime Book Reviews" Copyright Rob Jerrard 2013