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      From Auntie Beeb to the Afghan Frontline . May 2011, Afghanistan: Camp Bastion is under attack, the Sun’s defence editor is about to catch the wrong helicopter, and a famous TV war reporter (and actor) is missing half his kit and wants his trainers back. Christian Hill is preparing to lead his combat camera team on the British Army’s first big operation of the Helmand summer. A captain in the Media Operations Group, his job is to promote the war to the British media – and make it look like things are under control and getting better.

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      by  Number of Views: 79 
      1. Categories:
      2. Science Fiction,
      3. Non-Naval
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      A review.
      (A story of a Post Apocalyptical United Kingdom.)

      ‘During the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, the detonation of a bio-nuclear bomb occurred, almost killing every living thing in London.’

      So begins this grim tale of what happened as Law and Order broke down. The start date is 2034, the population trying to survive. London has a secure wall built around it following the route of the M25, to keep the survivors trapped inside. The UK is fragmented, leaving Scotland, Independent and once again behind a wall, a new Hadrian's wall. The Midlands, an Islamic state. Wales a new Celtic country and then we have Kernow, also behind a fortified wall to keep everyone out. A place of supposed sanctity for those living in Launceston.


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      by  Number of Views: 89 
      1. Categories:
      2. History,
      3. Memoire/Battlefield Memoire,
      4. Naval,
      5. Non-Fiction
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      This is the excellently narrated story, now released in paperback, of how the P&O liner Canberra was requisitioned (STUFT) in 1982 and despatched to the Falklands War as a troopship.

      The book covers in fine detail the commandeering, conversion and loading up of Canberra for war. It goes on to provide a fascinating study in leadership as exercised by Captain Scott-Masson and his RN counterpart Beagle Burne [who died shortly after this book was first published, see
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9379518/Captain-Christopher-Beagle-Burne.html ], not only in harmonising the disparate tribal customs and expectations of the MN, RN, RM, Army (3Para) and the Press, but later in battle. The account of Canberra under sustained air attack is gripping. The P&O people stepped up to wholly unfamiliar tasks, such as helicopter operations, replenishment at sea and station-keeping, in a quite exemplary fashion and exhibited the same stoic courage that has characterised the British Merchant Service for hundreds of years.

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      by  Number of Views: 176 
      1. Categories:
      2. Fiction
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      Well, what could possibly go wrong?

      I read the book over a couple of evenings, sat in my comfy old armchair, with a good slug of finest brandy. It was a fair old yarn, but I failed to warm to the main character at all. To be honest, the minor characters were far more interesting.

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      by  Number of Views: 135 
      1. Categories:
      2. History,
      3. Naval,
      4. Non-Fiction
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      The modern era was built on the Tramp Ship (and its modern-day descendant, the Bulk Carrier). Tramps generally shifted bulk or low value cargoes on an unscheduled basis, their operators bidding for loads on a daily basis at shipping exchanges. Often designed, built and operated on a shoestring, tramps operated to minimal profit margins at the best of times, and needed to be well-built to cope with years of economy-driven neglect as well as hard, continuous running. For naval historians, tramp ships all too often only appear in narratives when they are being sunk.

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      by  Number of Views: 121 
      1. Categories:
      2. Naval,
      3. Non-Fiction
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      Seaforth are a specialist naval and maritime publisher who have been responsible for a lot of attractive and authoritative works in the field. Their products are always handsomely illustrated and well-written by experts at the top of their game. The Seaforth World Naval Review was started in 2009 and represented a change of targets, with Seaforth seeking to apply their talents to challenging the established naval reviews. The result is an affordable alternative to established subscription-only reviews which delivers comparable levels of analysis and insight. To remain affordable and to not end up the same size as the ‘Times Atlas of the World’ Seaforth have to be selective in their choice of subjects, but in my opinion the Review has gone from strength to strength and is becoming the Naval equivalent of the Motor Sports annual ‘Autocourse,’ a yearly, highly anticipated, readable and authoritative addition to the bookshelf.

      There are several highlights for the 2014 edition for me. Firstly, a highly perceptive study of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). I can remember when the Clark administration made some hard decisions which deprived the Air Force of their fast jets and the RNZN of the Leander-class ‘Canterbury.’ As this article shows with clarity, the RNZN is now in a far more sustainable place and instead of fighting to maintain complex, ageing assets designed for another battlespace, is now well-equipped to safeguard home waters and to deploy a compact task group for expeditionary operations. It will be interesting to see how they continue to develop their amphibious capability and their ability to slot into Australian Defence Force operations when the occasion demands.

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      by  Number of Views: 334 
      1. Categories:
      2. History,
      3. Naval,
      4. Non-Fiction
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      Where there is no vision the people perish
      (Proverbs 29 xviii).

      We could have no better guide to this subject than Commander Hobbs, a veteran of over eight hundred carrier landings and retired curator of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, who has already published extensively on Fleet Air Arm subjects. He has here brought years of research and study together to provide an entire and encyclopaedic account of the development and history of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, from the earliest seaplane-carrying conversions to the Queen Elizabeth class now in build.

      The scope of the work embraces every ship we have ever had that was dedicated to the launch and recovery of aircraft, even CAM ships, plus fascinating details of ships like the Malta class and CVA01 that never did get built (and Habbakuk the impossible floating aviation iceberg), but excluding those cruisers and other ships for which air operations were and are not the ship’s main purpose, even though their aircraft confer a utility far beyond their hull. There is a good account of the wartime Escort Carriers and their short but busy war in support of invasions and seaborne strike and other service from Norway via the Mediterranean to Japan. As the story progresses we are also given details of the contemporary aircraft carriers of our friends, enemies and neighbours, and of carrier aviation in Commonwealth navies, mostly based on our incredibly successful Vickers-designed Light Fleets which were only planned to last three years but one of which is still afloat.

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      by  Number of Views: 243 
      1. Categories:
      2. History
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      We have been sent notification of a tour guide app for Hadrian’s Wall which some of you may find interesting. The app is not expensive at £1.99 and details for purchase are given below.





      Hadrians Wall Country - Launches
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