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In the summer of 1812 Britain stood alone, fighting for her very survival against a vast European Empire. Only the Royal Navy stood between Napoleon's legions and ultimate victory. In that dark hour America saw its chance to challenge British dominance: her troops invaded Canada and American frigates attacked British merchant shipping, the lifeblood of British defence.
War polarised America. The south and west wanted land, the north wanted peace and trade. But America had to choose between the oceans and the continent. Within weeks the land invasion had stalled, but American warships and privateers did rather better, and astonished the world by besting the Royal Navy in a series of battles.
Then in three titanic single ship actions the challenge was decisively met. British frigates closed with the Chesapeake, the Essex and the President, flagship of American naval ambition. Both sides found new heroes but none could equal Captain Philip Broke, champion of history's greatest frigate battle, when HMS Shannon captured the USS Chesapeake in thirteen blood-soaked minutes. Broke's victory secured British control of the Atlantic, and within a year Washington, D.C. had been taken and burnt by British troops.
NZ$30.00 + Delivery.
Some may know the fate of HMAS Canberra on 9 August 1942 in a war ravaged Pacific Ocean. World War II was in full force and it was about to overwhelm those on-board the Australian Navy cruiser. But the events that lead to Canberra’s demise on that dark night are not so well known until now. A tribute to the 84 men whose lives were lost, this book tells their stories and those of the men who survived. All share their motivations for joining the Navy and tell what it was like on-board.
NZ$35.00 + Delivery.
The tiny American flotilla—with three frigates representing half of the U.S. Navy’s top-of-the-line ships—had some success in blockading the Barbary coast. But that success came to an end when the USS Philadelphia ran aground in Tripoli harbor and was captured. Kilmeade and Yaeger recount the dramatic story of a young American sailor, Stephen Decatur, who snuck into the harbor, boarded the Philadelphia, and set her on fire before escaping amid a torrent of enemy gunfire.
Few remember Decatur and Eaton today, but their legacy inspired the opening of the Marine Corps Hymn: “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land, and sea.
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates tells a dramatic story of bravery, diplomacy, and battle on the high seas, and honors some of America’s forgotten heroes
NZ$35.00 + Delivery.
The untold story of the Rescue Tug Service in two world wars and its battle to save cargoes, ships and lives.
Out of the battle of the Sea Lanes has emerged a new vessel – the British fighting escort tug... No naval action or landing operation would be attempted without them and they have saved a vast amount of merchant shipping and an undisclosed number of warships for the United Nations. They are as much a factor in winning the Battle of the Atlantic as the corvette or the escort carrier.
When an American forces magazine printed this description of the Royal Navy’s Rescue Tug Service in February 1944, the Service was receiving its fair share of publicity and praise. Ye when the official histories of the conflict at sea during World War II were written, there was no mention of the Service or what it had accomplished. As the Convoy historian Arnold Hague wrote, little had been written about the Rescue Tug Service and crews, ‘and in consequence little remains known even to those who study the maritime war, 1939-45’.
The ‘Tattie’ Lads attempts to rectify this injustice perpetrated on a group of brave men without whom many more merchant ships, with their crews and cargo, would have been lost to Hitler’s U-Boats.
NZ$45.00 + Delivery.
A fascinating account of the evolution of the seaman through 89 years of change.
In Able Seamen 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. The 'lower deck' also had to deal with the changing social structure of the Navy; the great demands made on the Service throughout the British Empire; the move from broadside batteries to sophisticated turretsand fire-control systems; the modernization and standardisation of signals and telegraphy; the rise of 'small ships' as a destroyer fleet was created to fulfil new strategic requirements; and the creation of the submarine service. Brian Lavery also highlights the repercussions of the First World War and the grand fleet engagement at Jutland; the expressions of discontent (such as the infamous Invergordon mutiny), and the lead-up to the Second World War.
Readable, engaging and authoritative, this book (the second volume in this 3 volume social history of the Royal Navy. The First volume being 'Royal Tars, and the 3rd 'All Hands') 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.
NZ$55.00 + Delivery.
NZ$20.00 + Delivery.
The story of the British navy is nothing less than the story of Britain, the culture and the Empire. Much more than a parade of admirals and their battles, this is the story of how an insignificant island nation conquered the world's oceans to become its greatest trading empire. Yet, as Ben Wilson shows, there was nothing inevitable about this rise to maritime domination, nor was it ever an easy path. EMPIRE OF THE DEEP: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH NAVY reveals how British naval history shaped Britain in more subtle and surprising ways - the language, culture, politics and national character all owe a great debt to this conquest of the seas.
Few other nations have fallen so deeply in love with a branch of the Armed Forces as the British did with its navy, when for a few decades after the Battle of Trafalgar, Britain truly ruled the waves.
This is the epic, gripping, story of how an insignificant island nation overcame the dangers that emerged from the deep to conquuer the world's oceans.
NZ$35.00 + Delivery
One of Britain's leading naval historians looks at the social background of British wartime naval recruits, the training methods, the personal experiences of those involved and what they had to learn to become an officer of the watch on the bridge of a warship, or even the captain of a landing craft or frigate in the Second World War.
During World War II, Britain's Royal Navy has to expand more than sevenfold, in the faces of the threat of invasion, enemy bombing and the need to carry out campaigns all around the world. To find officers for this force it had to move well outside its normal supply of boys trained from the age of 13. It started by recruiting yachtsmen and giving them a smattering of naval discipline before sending them to sea. Then it sent possible officers into action as ordinary seamen, to live a hard and dangerous life in destroyers. Selected men were then given their officer training in three months in an improved seaside base at Brighton. They sailed as officers in all kinds of ships, but especially in the new landing craft which would invade North Africa, Italy and Normandy. Those appointed to escort vessels in the Battle of the Atlantic came under the fearsome gaze of Commodore Stephenson, the 'Terror of Tobermory' before being sent out on convoy escort.
The book draws widely from personal experiences of those who served and presents a rich collection of wry quotes and numerous anecdotes from household names such as Alec Guinness, Evelyn Waugh, Nicholas Monsarrat and George Melly as we follow them through the rigours of the war at sea. It has much to say on seamanship, naval technology, leadership and organisation.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
A history of life on board HMS Victory, the world's most famous warship. In the HMS Victory Pocket Manual, author Peter Goodwin adopts a fresh approach to explain the workings of the only surviving ‘line of battle’ ship of the Napoleonic Wars. And, as Victory was engaged in battle during only two per cent of her active service, the book also provides a glimpse into life and work at sea during the other ninety-eight per cent of the time.
This book presents answers to questions such as: ‘What types of wood were used in building Victory?’; ‘What was Victory’s longest voyage?’; ‘How many shots were fired from her guns at Trafalgar?’; ‘How many boats did Victory carry?’; ‘What was prize money?’; ‘What was grog?’; ‘When did her career as a fighting ship end?’, and ‘How many people visit Victory each year?’. It gives a full history of the world's most famous warship through a highly accessible pocket-book format. The book Includes a pertinent and varied selection of contemporary documents and records to explain the day-to-day running of a three-decker Georgian warship.
The leading historian of the sailing man of war, Peter Goodwin was technical and historical advisor to HMS Victory in Portsmouth for more than 20 years, and is in a unique position to investigate and interpret not only the ship’s structure but also the essential aspects of shipboard life: victualling, organisation, discipline, domestic arrangements and medical care.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
Autour Mark Felton expertly tells the incredible tale - the last great Allied raid of the war - of how this band of young men living on raw courage, nerves and adrenalin repeatedly combat Japanese defences, oxygen poisoning and calamitous submarine disasters to pull off a brilliant display of ingenuity, courage and sheer guts, on missions that earn the last Victoria Crosses of World War Two and ensure final victory over Japan.
NZ$33.00 + delivery.
As close as you can get to the world's warship wrecks without getting your feet wet.
Sunk by enemy fire, scuttled, or run aground, the number of World War II-era battleships, cruisers, submarines, and other warships that ended their service on the bottom of the world's oceans and seas is enormous. In the decades since the conflict, wreck hunters have pored over historical records and combed the world's oceans to find their remains.
In Hidden Warships, naval historian Nicholas A. Veronico details the history, recovery, and preservation of these sunken combat ships—including accounts from the divers and restorers who have worked with them. Beginning with the Japanese midget submarines that attacked Pearl Harbor and continuing through into the modern era, including the 2006 sinking of the postwar aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, Veronico provides rich detail on each noteworthy vessel, including over 150 photographs, ship specifications, geographic coordinates, and more. For the enthusiast who wants an even more complete experience, the book concludes with a list of preserved ships, an Internet resource guide, and a suggested reading list to continue the exploration.
Whether you plan on visiting these historic sites yourself or simply enjoy their compelling stories, this book will guide you, above the surface and underwater, through some of the most famous relics of World War II naval warfare.
NZ$55.00 + delivery.
The training aid for the US Submarine fleet at the end of the Second World War, How to Pilot a Submarine gives us an idea of just what life was like underwater and the various tasks a submariner would have to do. Restricted and unavailable till now, How to Pilot a Submarine will teach you how to crash dive, how to maintain the engines and batteries of a World War Two submarine and, most importantly, how to fire the torpedoes and to deal with life underwater.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
A MISSION OF HONOUR. The Royal Navy in the Pacific 1769-1997.
By John McLean. Hardback, 160mm x 246mm, 518 pages.
Covering more than two centuries, from Captain Cook to the handover of Hong Kong, the forty-nine chapters of A Mission of Honour deal with such diverse topics as exploration, marine surveying and charting, carrying convicts to Australia and taking New Zealand kauri spars back to Britain for the Royal Dockyards, maintaining stocks of provisions on remote islands for the benefit of shipwrecked sailors, fighting wars against the Russains, Chinese, Maori, Germans and Japanese, shipwrecks, mutiny, piracy, desertion, ceremonial, shore leave and raising the Union Jack on distant shores to create new colonies such as Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
"Britain's gift to the Pacific has been sea power. By almost singlehandedly bringing peace, order and security to the Pacific the Royal Navy carved for itself the honour of being the most positive factor in the develpment of the peaceful trade of the world's largest ocean. A Mission of Honour tells this remarkable and uplifing story with a sharp eye for detail and a sense of adventure".
"By its constant presence and vigilance off the coast of British Columbia the Royal Navy ensured that Canada would be a nation on two oceans, by establishing and supplying Australia's northern outposts it helped ensure that the southern continent would be a single country, by a subtle combination of persuasion and force it succeeded in eradicating cannibalism from New Zealand, Fiji and other islands, by its vital role in the Maori Wars it made New Zealand safe for settlement, by its victory in the First Opium War it enabled Britain to acquire Hong Kong and turn it into the world's greatest and most dazzling free port, by eradicating piracy from the seas around Borneo it secured the safety of honest trade in and out of Singapore and, by compiling thousands of charts of virtually every part of the Pacific, it ensured that the world's greatest ocean was made safe for mariners and known to the world. All this and much more is contained in this well researched and highly readable work of naval history".
NZ$60.00 + delivery.
SYDNEY CIPHER AND SEARCH.
By Captain Peter Hore. Paperback, 135mm x 215mm, 314 pages, monochrome and full coulor photographs.
In November 1941 the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney, with a crew of 645, disappeared off Western Australia. Shipwrecked German sailors told an incredible tale of how their ship, a lighlty armoured merchant raider, had sunk the pride of the Australian navy. Almost at once conspiracy theories sprang up to explain the tragic loss of the ship and so many lives. Based on the author's decryption and interpretation of German coded accounts, interviews with survivors from the raider, Kormoran, and other research, this book tells - insofar as it can ever be known - what really happened in the desperate fight to the death between two ships, whose wrecks were finally located in March 2008.
Captain Peter Hore is a former head of Defence Studies for the Royal Navy and, among other appointments, is chairman of the research committee of the Society for Nautical Research. As a naval historian, he has been researching the loss of HMAS Sydney since 1999. Since completing this book he has been appointed an expert witness to the Australian government's Commission of Inquiry into the loss of HMAS Sydney.
NZ$41.00 + delivery.
THE SEARCH FOR THE SYDNEY.
By David L. Mearns. Hardback, 240mm x 305mm, 264 pages, monochrome and full coulor photographs and 1 gatefold.
For sixty-six years it was Australia's greatest maritime mystery: what happened to the 'pride of the fleet' HMAS Sydney - was it beaten in a fair fight with the German cruiser Kormoran, or was there treachery invlolved? Could the Kormoran's survivors' account of the battle and it's aftermath be believed? Why were there no survivors from Sydney? And where was the wreck?
David Mearns first heard the story of the Sydney in 1996, and it left an indelible impression in his mind. One of the world's foremost shipwreck hunters, David had successfully located dozens of wrecks in much deeper water. But hunting down the Sydney, a challenge he accepted in 2002, proved his toughest yet, testing his skills as a detective, engineer, marine scientist and navigator. David's quest, which unfolded over six years, took him around the world, from the war archives in Germany, to the homes of Kormoran survivors, and then to Fremantle, Western Australia, and out to the Indian Ocean. He would encounter conspiracy theories, false clues, cyclones and myriad technical problems, but, in 2008, he would finally record the astonishing words, 'HMAS Sydney found!'
Here, for the first time, David tells the full, dramatic story of his search for two ships, Sydney and Kormoran, whose paths crossed one fateful day in 1941. His riveting account answers the questions which have dogged Sydney's disappearance.
Featuring never-seen-before photographs of the wrecks, beautifully detailed maps and a wealth of historical images, this is a book for collectors and general readers alike, an incomparable adventure story set on the high seas.
NZ$61.50 + delivery.
HELL OR HIGH WATER - NEW ZEALAND MERCHANT SEAFARERS REMEMBER THE WAR.
Edited By Neill Atkinson. Paperback, 214mm x 235mm, monochrome photographs.
During World War Two several thousand New Zealanders served in the Merchant Navy. many braved the deadly German U-Boats during the Battle of the Atlantic and sailed in perilous convoys to Arctic Russia and Malta.
Others manned transport and hospital ships for the Allied landings in North Africa, Italy and France, or ferried troops and supplies across the vast Pacific and Indian oceans. Although they were essentially civilians, merchant seafarers often found themselves in the front lines of the war at sea - at least 120 Kiwi seamen were killed, and another 128 were taken prisoner. The vital contribution of this 'fourth' service has never before received the recognition it richly deserves. Drawn from interviews with the men who were there in the darkest days of a bloody and terrible conflict, this books includes stirring accounts of war at sea: the seamen who survived air and submarine attacks, some enduring days adrift in open lifeboats; an 18-year-old awarded the George Cross during the 1942 Pedestal convoy to relieve Malta; and others who spent years in Japanese prisions. Finally, their stories are being told.
NZ$38.00 + delivery.
Was NZ$35.00 + delivery.
Now NZ$10.00 + delivery.
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