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Totally Steaming:  A year on HMS Fearless

Totally Steaming: A year on HMS Fearless [Kindle Edition]

Damon Hammond , Terry McCormack
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

About the Book.
This book was written at sea, on HMS Fearless, during evenings sat down in front of the technical office computer, as the ship gently swayed around me. It was almost written as it happened. Once each event had occurred, the requisite chunk was written and sent on to the close-in-range weapons workshop where Terry captured the mood of each occasion deftly with his pen and ink illustrations. It tells of the events during one year near the latter end of the life of the Fearless; one of the Royal Navy’s most unique ships, both in history and construction –not to mention the human and mechanical idiosyncrasies that seemed to be in manifest abundance within its metal hull.
The Fearless was a left-over from a previous generation of ships; the last steam powered vessel in the Royal Navy, and as such, its crew were also a left over; many had been coming back to it time and again from as far back as the ‘seventies. This meant that it was also ‘Old Navy’ in the outlooks and attitudes of the ship’s company.
The story is told from the point of view of the lower deck, to be precise from that of NCOs, and attempts to capture the tone and humour and attitudes of that now-vanished microcosm of Navy Life. For that reason it is unapologetically ‘politically incorrect’, and is not in any way a reflection of the Navy as it is now. Moreover, the opinions expressed within are those of the author and the people he knew and in no way reflect the policy of either the Royal Navy or the MOD.

About the Author

The author was born the year the Fearless was laid down and was knocking on the door of his forties when she decommissioned, and he became the last artificer to shut down a Royal Navy steam turbine. He witnessed the ingenuity and sheer hard work put in to keeping the ship at sea, and the ingenuity and sheer hard work put into into heroic levels of inebriation maintained across entire weekends during shore visits that ranged from Scarborough to Sevastopol on a journey that took in Turkish baths and labyrinthine sewage arrangements in Marseilles, along with surreal exercises involving 'killer tomatoes' and pretend admirals, and infinitely-varied machinery breakdowns, some involving very narrow escapes...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3318 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BF01EJK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deja vu review 12 Sep 2006
For those who have served onboard not only the FEARLESS but also INTREPID, this is a 'must' read. It will take them back to the days when they either loved or hated their time onboard, either way they will be able to relate to the routines, the humour and the sheer hard work that went into keeping those old girls going. The advent of 'never in my time' Wrens at sea, their employment onboard and subsequent 'matelot-esque' behaviour is an integral and humourous part of the story.
For those from a non-Navy background, the author has carefully explained routines and tradition which makes it an easy read for all.
Having been onboard for part of the time covered in the book, it was brilliant to be reminded of those happenings, the characters involved and the enjoyment of those times (yes I was one who enjoyed their time onboard!)
A highly recommended read.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last Gasp of the Steam Navy. 13 Nov 2006
By Phoenix
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I served on the Fearless from Apr 82-May 85 as a Chief Petty Officer Marine Engineering Artificer/Charge Chief, Fearless was hard work with a good percentage of cement in her then, 20 years later with much smaller technical crew, I salute you on your endurance. This book is excellent & if you wish to understand what makes the man that is Nelson's crews sucessor then look no further. Fearless & Intrepid her sister ship shaped many thousands of sailors (& not a few Royal Marines who were Ships Company). The Sailors who served on all Steam ships & their outlook on life (good or bad), endurance & rough humour owe a lot to those many months of watchkeeping on the forward or after Steam Units with our 'watch crew', or beating 10 bells out of a rusted section of pipework, the endless grind to keep it all just working. The authors have captured all this & the last gasp of the old Navy on the final drive to modernity.............From Sail to Steam to Gas Turbines. This social History of the Ships Company at sea (the bordom) & ashore is perfectly captured. I have many military books but few that captured me as much. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 'Martini' Ship Jan 83 - Feb 86....... 9 Oct 2007
Strange as it may seem,I keep this book in the bedside locker pile so I can delve into it everytime I need a bit of a giggle. Apart from the females at sea ( so glad we didn't have them, yep, I know, not very PC )... its so good to get the clear concise feeling of what it was like to serve on the Fearless. I was a Stoker and spent so many hours over 3 years watchkeeping, but the boring times were heavily outweighed by the fun, the runs ashore, my oppo's etc. Fearless, really is the end of the old Navy, those 3 showers a day, constant maintenance and repair. This book really does capture it all, but I think it would be hard going for any civvies. The terminology and 'Jackspeak' alone, amazing how much I forgot...but also how quick this book reminds you of the uniquness of life aboard the LPD's and the Navy in general.
Best years of my life, loved the ship, loved the book, hate getting old.
If you served on Fearless or Intrepid, I strongly recommend you buy this book, it will give you great joy and great memorys.
Well done and thanks.
Sean Lockhart ex-Stoker
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Log! 27 Mar 2007
By Paul
I loved this book, but I am not sure it will chime with any old reader - you have got to be serving or ex-RN to appreciate all the twists and turns and nuances. I found it a bit 'noir' in areas, but this all added to the effect. He captures the mood and smell of the LPDs really well and particularly the (perceived and experienced!) culture of the Senior Rates messes. Couldn't put it down and my wife thought I was mad chuckling at virtually every page. If you are ex-LPD this is a must have, if you are ex-RN it will bring back some good (and not so good) memories. An easy and thoroughly entertaining read, well done Hammy! (I served as the Main Machinery Engineer Officer in Fearless a few years before he wrote this book).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Navy.....Priceless 28 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great account of a matelots life in the steam navy of the 80s as it disappeared into the past, left behind by gas turbines, decommissionings, sell offs and government naivity. this account was written and covered my own time serving in the Navy and made me laugh out load many times, some of the tales are a bit generic, and appeasred to have happened on every ship in the fleet around that time, but who cares, the stories ARE true, may not necessarily have occurred on Fearless but they DID happen somewhere, and good dits have to be told. No good story ever started with a sober stoker sat in the mess doing a crossword!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories of Days Gone By 13 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable read for ex Fearless rating from the early 1980`s sitting on a beach in Mexico scuppering a few jars . Strange that I only remember the good bits. An interesting and honest overview of life on board for mechanical Tiffy. So would be of interest to non naval types. It was interesting to read now things have changed in the RN over the years, but that's progress. Steam propulsion machinery was like a living beast and can still be enjoyed on HM Submarines.So sign up my hearties and enjoy a life below the waves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good laugh, on a ship with character 15 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, with a liberal dose of humour. The Fearless was one of the last Navy ships using the ancient (!) steam turbine technology, and the explanation from the author of trying to keep the old girl running leaves you with a healthy dose of respect. I'd recommend this book to anyone who was ex Navy, or who (like me) just has an interest in the ships, and how they work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars gift for a seaman
my husband enjoyed this bookas he does with most books with a seafearing theme. i cant comment personally because I didnt read it
Published 3 months ago by blueyes57
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad.
A bit hard going in places, maybe I am too old for this one, still worth reading for the funny bits and the odd sketch.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A year on fearless
Written by my husband. I was on fearless 99 - 02 as the PO scablifter. As far as I am concerned serving on the death star was the best time of my career. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Laugh!
Never stopped laughing from beginning to end. A touch heavy going when it came to the mechanics of steam turbine propulsion, but worth it all the same.
Published 6 months ago by Old Zack
3.0 out of 5 stars Martin`s review of Totally steamig
I did`nt buy this book after reading the sample because of the constant bad language.
I later read the index with the list of places visited by Fearless, so I bought the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by martin B
3.0 out of 5 stars Reading this at the moment
I'm Army from a Navy Island. I get this book but it does not always hold my attention. I usually read 2 or 3 books at the same time and this one is third in choice at the moment.
Published 7 months ago by Portlander
5.0 out of 5 stars Buster
I served Fearless 70-72 and Intrepid/Fearless 79-82 as DTS staff. Obvioulsy no where near the top 100 of time served in both ships
Final time spent in O1HO both ships with... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Helen Vrba
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading for ex matelots of a certain age
Totally enjoyable, so many similar comparisons with many of my own naval experiences made all the more poignant as I lived in the Senior Rates Mess in Nelson during this period and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr Raymond K Storey
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book about the modern navy I have read
As an old navy hand, I could not imagine what it must be like to have women living on board. Now I know.
If I had stayed in the navy Fearless was to be my next ship. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. C. Tuck
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good read for any ex-matelot
Having served on Intrepid and Fearless as a marine engineer myself in the 80s and 90s (at the same time as the author), I can totally relate to the escapades detailed in this book. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Grant Nicholson
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