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Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II (General Military)
Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II (General Military)
Price: £6.17

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No one wanted to be linked to a lost cause so these men had to fight it alone., 3 Sept. 2014
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How can you say you love this book when you read even though I have no complaint whatever about this book after all it is about a tragedy.

The book is excellent the writing is superb the subject matter has been exhaustively researched and collated but your heart goes out to the people who were involved in the cataclysmic events described. This disparate rag tag collection of obsolete aircraft and ships and desperate men held the line against an implacable enemy without adequate support of their own Countrymen no one wanted to be linked to a lost cause so these men had to fight it unsupported and alone.

Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong for these men if you can read the book without getting too involved then do so, it illuminates multitude examples of fortitude heroism and self sacrifice in the face of absolutely overwhelming odds.

Almost all the weapons and systems they used were flawed in some fundamental way and they still managed to put a fleet together and in the face of superior forces they brought this ramshackle fleet of warships to within a few miles of the convoy they had to destroy - it cost most of them their lives.

No one can deny that they lacked in the guts and determination - to chance all they had - to win regardless of the odds..


British Light Cruisers 1939-45 (New Vanguard)
British Light Cruisers 1939-45 (New Vanguard)
Price: £4.60

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a truly inspirational gamble to go ahead and construct these Anti Aircraft Cruisers ............., 14 Aug. 2014
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A bit short on the histories of this interesting and very successful new generation of warships so that is why I didn't give this book full marks but it is a worthy read nethertheless. It would have been good to get more of the experiences of the men who sailed these hard working ships. The book on the Renown is chock full of ex sailors reminiscences and it adds a lot to the enjoyment of the book.

This book did recognise and emphasise that these modern 6inch light cruisers were not scouts or merchantile cruisers as their predecessors were they were primarily designed to fight a very different kind of war which was to counter the aeroplane rather than other warships or commerce raiders. Obviously it was presumed that the previous inter-war generation of 8 inch heavy cruisers were to be used to counter any heavyweight seabourne opposition but as the war progressed that happy coincidence was not always the case.

It was a truly inspirational gamble to go ahead and construct these Anti Aircraft Cruisers This incredibly risky gamble paid off due to the rapid development of ship bourne radar once these ships were equipped with good high and low level gunnery radar sets they became a force to reckoned with both in defensive and offensive operations. The addition of low level gunnery radar meant that they were capable of taking on heavy cruisers due to their ability to maintain intense broadsides of extremely accurate radar directed fire. Read the book and it will tell you how this came about .... sometimes their fantastically high rate of fire was due to well practised almost Nelsonian muscle and grit rather than automation and technology.


Battle-Cruiser HMS Renown 1916-48
Battle-Cruiser HMS Renown 1916-48
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read about the last Battle Cruiser, 13 Aug. 2014
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A cracking read about the last Battle Cruiser built when Battle Cruisers were seen as a fatally flawed white elephant suitably modernised between the wars the Renown was transformed into the fastest Capital Ship in the Royal Navy. What a fascinating career this extremely lucky ship had, Renown was a happy ship too and the crew members hated having to leave her to serve in any other. Renown's war record was a story of almost continuous involvement in supporting Naval forces in the Atlantic the Arctic the Mediterranean and the Pacific everywhere the Royal Navy went the Renown was there too. Enjoy.............


50 Div in Normandy: A Critical Analysis Of The British 50th (Northumbrian) Division On D-Day And In The Battle Of Normandy
50 Div in Normandy: A Critical Analysis Of The British 50th (Northumbrian) Division On D-Day And In The Battle Of Normandy
Price: £2.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am pleased to see that L-Cmdr Michael S. Trench U.S.N. weighed up the facts about this analysis., 11 Aug. 2014
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This well written and studiously researched book primarily examines the fighting performance of The 50th Tyne Tees Division in the Normandy Campaign but it also takes into account the performance of other formations like 7th Armoured Division and 51st Highland Division these Divisions were all very highly regarded ex 8th Army veteran fighting formations of which much was expected in Normandy .... but they couldn't work miracles.

These fine Divisions were criticised for displaying a lack of fighting spirit both during and after the campaign but the truth was that they were not fighting the mobile war they were trained to specialise in and suffered severely for their lack of expertise - they experienced exactly the same kind of battle erosion as their German opponents did.

Being a native of this Island I am not surprised that it would take an American to finally make the case for our much derided British Soldiers fighting skills in Normandy. It was perhaps an inevitable consequence brought about by the film Saving Private Ryan where highly contentious comments were made about Montgomery and the British Army.

I would have thought that the last place where any form of praise for our soldiers would come from America. Having worked with veterans of The Normandy Campaign during my youth I am really pleased to see that L-Cmdr Michael S. Trench U.S.N. weighed up the facts about this almost static and intensively fought campaign and done the honorable thing finally set the record straight for our much derided fighting men righting the wrongs that were done to them.

It is noteworthy that the Germans always considered the British/Canadian Army to be a far more dangerous opponent than the American Army that is why our paratroopers landed on a resting Panzer Division at Arnhem and why the German Army attacked and broke through a raw and untried American Division in the Ardennes. The prime requisite of the Blitzkreig philosophy is that you attack your enemy where he is weak which is not what the German or the British/Canadian Army was doing in Normandy. Like the first Battle of Kursk it was a bullheaded battle of attrition with no real chance of a breakthrough after 21st Panzer mobilised and then attacked the British/Canadian beaches on D-Day.


HMS Royal Sovereign and Her Sister Ships
HMS Royal Sovereign and Her Sister Ships
Price: £6.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Flash in the Pan of Battleship design....., 2 Aug. 2014
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The R class battleships were the innocent victims of internal Naval shipbuilding politics they were unloved unmodernised - apart from their crews - and yet vital for the mundane but necessary jobs they were given. These ships were in many ways far better designed than the earlier Queen Elizabeth class and outclassed ...their later King George and Nelson class counterparts They were built under an emergency first world war program which prioritised defensive armour and made no allowances for the increases in gun range and speed which were to become ever more important factors later in their long and useful lives.

In the interwar years these magnificent ships could easily have been given new more modern engines which would have raised their speed their turrets could have been modified to allow the 15 inch gun barrels to be raised higher to give their guns more range. This cheap option would have been a better alternative than building the later Nelson class which were notoriously unreliable and unmanoeverable and couldn't fire a full broadside without sustaining severe structural damage they were were hardly any faster than the R class and were unpopular with their crews, they had a bad reputation. The much later King George class were underarmed and extremely poor seagoing ships, in heavy seas their decks being literally underwater they were built down to a level rather than up to a standard and although they did what they were designed to do - their shortcomings clearly showed.

Throwing caution to the winds - I would say how could you improve upon a perfection bourne of their own time a transient flash in the pan of battleship design - the peak before the decline. Later Naval ship designers were hard pressed to make anything better than these ships and because of this these magnificent ships were left as they were - destined to become ever more obsolescent and not granted the potential to perform as their Queen Elizabeth class ...predecessors were given. I suppose the age of the battleship was over because The Aircraft Carrier was becoming - The New Ship of The Line....


Monty's Greatest Victory: The Drive for the Baltic, April-May 1945
Monty's Greatest Victory: The Drive for the Baltic, April-May 1945

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He grew up in Hobart Australia and he behaved just like an Australian would, 26 July 2014
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Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery was given a super heavy task just before the end of the Second World War it seems that this was meant to fail and to create the impression that the British Army under his command was incompetent second rate useless etc - another old chuckwaggon story. We are not allowed to forget The Arnhem Landings where the Americans were coming to our rescue and The Bridge too Far was Montgomery going to win the war for our friends the Americans there was absolutely no chance of that every happening was that why the Germans were waiting the radio's didn't work the weapons were somehow uncalibrated and the air drop was a total fiasco from the very first day.

Now it was - the final push into Germany with Montgonery going right up to Hamburg on the Baltic Coast he was supposed to get there before the Russians and thanks to his superb leadership the British Army did it with just a few hours to spare.

The Great Invisible - Montgomery I wonder how he stood up to all the crap coming from the Americans he was made to be invisible by his own Government witht he active collusion of a Prime Minister who died an American Citizen. Like Bomber Harris he was decried once he had done his job and yet right at the end of the war he wrested a surrender of the German Forces opposing his 21st Army three days before the Americans did and saved many lives in doing so. During The Battle of the Bulge it was Montgomery who sealed off most the road bridges with British and American Army units for the Americans during the most vital days of the so called - battle of the bulge when the German ... bulge had no significant American opposition and Eisenhower was suddenly unavailable for all enquiries for over a week..

He grew up in Hobart Australia and he behaved just like an Australian would which made of him a very difficult personality for both British and Americans to deal with. He had a genuine touch of genius with dealing with the opposition whether it be british American German or Italian he had that inspired degree of commitment which made him so good in battle which also made him an intolerable experience to the lesser people who were his fellows. One especially was General George Patton who had to give him a Flying Fortress as a result of a wager which Montgomery won and claimed his prize.

Perhaps you might like to know what happened to that prized Flying Fortress because Patton took it away from him in the most venal violent and vindictive way. His staff gave Montgomery's Flying Fortress a clearance to land on a Sicilian runway one which wasn't long enough for a Flying Fortress to land on - and one with full a petrol bowser waiting to barbecue Montgomery and his staff situated perfectly - right on the end! Perhaps it was something General Patton had said maybe it was an accident waiting to happen - but Montgomery survived?


HMS Rodney: Slayer of the Bismarck and D-Day Saviour (Warships of the Royal Navy)
HMS Rodney: Slayer of the Bismarck and D-Day Saviour (Warships of the Royal Navy)
Price: £5.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a scrapper from day one..........., 25 July 2014
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Yes it was a scrapper alright it was a total bodge and we built two of them we must have been crazy to build them they should have named H.M.S Rodney... Frankenstein and the Nelson H.M.S. Quasimodo. But The Rodney just like it's twin Nelson did exactly what was intended of them and they both it did it very well - if very slowly and Rodney scrapped the Bismarck and finished it.

My old workmate Edward Baggeley was on The Rodney he said he knew of a guy who was castrated when it fired a 16 inch half-broadside because the ceramic? toilet pan he was sat on at the time exploded into thousands of viciously sharp pieces.Sixteen inch guns were just too much for the technology of the time all sorts of bits and pieces ... even the rivets and bolts holding the ship together - the ship literally started disintegrating every time it fired. The Rodney and The Nelson couldn't fire a full 16 inch broadside because the recoil from it's 16 inch guns would do so much severe damage to the ship so they did things by halves - but that half broadside was more than enough to settle the opposition!

I didn't know the Rodney had oxygen fuelled torpedoes just like the superb Japanese Long Lance which was the best torpedo in the world until at least 1945 and perhaps much later The Japanese navy had given up trying to produce an oxygen fuelled torpedo till in a pre-war visit to the Rodney indicated to the Japanese that the Royal Navy already had them. This revelation re-started a serious concerted effort by Japanese technicians and scientists aiming at perfecting the Long Lance torpedo this inspired weapon proved to be very effective and for the Japanese Navy it was a regular battle-winner. The Rodney used its special torpedoes against the Bismarck and some reports indicate the Bismack was struck by at least one.


US Heavy Cruisers 1941-45: Pre-war Classes (New Vanguard)
US Heavy Cruisers 1941-45: Pre-war Classes (New Vanguard)
Price: £7.67

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To inherit The World., 25 July 2014
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Before the time of the modern aeroplane the heavy cruiser was always a ship of Empire it was designed to police the World. This book is of some interest to a minority but it does succeed in illuminating the problems faced by a fast developing Country of World dominating aspirations which was patiently waiting in the wings to take over the reins from a dying British Empire set drifting with a deliberate and accumulating inevitabiiity towards it's final fatal countdown.

The background of this book hints to us that the rest of the world had finally caught up with the British Empire ...and now the game was up its selfish geofascist London based establishment was openly squeezing and stripping any easily removeable assets from it's colonies post haste and thereby accelerating the end of it's Worldwide domination. As an integral part of this explosive decline the London establishment was deliberately neglecting it's global responsibilities and inherent obligations to all of it's increasingly victimised peoples and callously ... knowingly precipitating a massive Worldwide feeding frenzy amonst those who wished to inherit The World.


Lifesaver Systems Limited 4000 UF Bottle, Medium
Lifesaver Systems Limited 4000 UF Bottle, Medium
Price: £101.06

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Wet Wet Wet, 25 July 2014
Bought it for my wife as an alternative we both regularly drink neat tapwater we get a lot of lime in our water and I do think it improves the flavour.


Night of the Whirlwind
Night of the Whirlwind
Price: £2.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Great if you are interested in the Whirlwind, 9 Jun. 2014
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Such a superbly designed modern looking well armed and fast aircraft and being produced so early in the war you would have thought the Whirlwind would have used to equip the R.A.Fs reconnaissance squardrons it was so good. The Air Ministry had a very arbitrary pecking order of aircraft manufacturers and Westland wasn't really in the frame if they had designed to Spitfire we would probably never have heard of it. I suppose the DeHavilland Mosquito did for the Whirlwind.

The technical knowledge of the author was first class and the storyline was a bit pie in the sky but I did enjoy the read but I have been more involved with other novels by David Bruce Yes this is worth a read if you like to get to know about the sublime technicalities of airplanes which is a David Bruce forte


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