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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine record and insight, 13 Nov 2012
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This review is from: A History of the British Merchant Navy, Vol. 5: Fiddler's Green: The Great Squandering, 1921-2010 (Hardcover)
Richard Woodman's prolific contribution to British commercial seafaring history particularly the war record of merchant seaman is immense and a national treasure.
The detailed accounts in Fiddler's Green of shipping and activities on the China and other far eastern coasts are well researched and interesting as are the world wide trading patterns over 80 years of a range of British shipping companies recounted.

There are useful accounts of various Officer training schemes such as that run by Alfred Holt & Co., at Pangbourne, the Warsash School of Navigation and the cadet ships of the Blue Funnel and New Zealand Shipping Companies. It is therefore surprising that no mention is made of the National Sea Training Schools at Sharpness [TSS Vindicatrix] and Gravesend which for 27 years gave basic training in deck and catering skills as a precursor to entering the MN to 70,000 youths between 1939-66.

Woodman is perceptive in giving recognition to the loyalty of most seamen, whether Officer or rating, towards the Company with which they sailed. A compliment not always reciprocated by the Owners. The examples of some reasons for the demise of the British ship building industry are devastating.
Fiddler's Green provides a great insight into the reasons for the decline and disappearance of the British MN and is a must for anyone wishing to understand how a conglomeration of private shipping companies came to be labelled the Merchant Navy. Maybe principally as a consequence of the contribution by its Officers, Engineers and men. to victory [quickly forgotten ]during two World Wars
Having read this Volume I have now purchase Volume 4, `More Days more Dollars', which covers the earlier 35 years during which many of these Shipping Companies were in their heyday.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Histroy of the Merchant Navy, 28 Feb 2013
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This review is from: A History of the British Merchant Navy, Vol. 5: Fiddler's Green: The Great Squandering, 1921-2010 (Hardcover)
I consider Richard Woodman one of the best authors I have read. His History of the Merchant Navy is a toure de force
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiddlers Green by Richard Woodman, 1 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. E. B. Cowell (UK Cambs) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A History of the British Merchant Navy, Vol. 5: Fiddler's Green: The Great Squandering, 1921-2010 (Hardcover)
This is the fifth and final volume of Woodman's history of the British Merchant Navy. It is well researched, authoritative and written by a distinguished master mariner. The whole series s probably destined to be the definitive work for many years to come.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiddling on the Deck, 19 Jan 2012
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This review is from: A History of the British Merchant Navy, Vol. 5: Fiddler's Green: The Great Squandering, 1921-2010 (Hardcover)
This is an extraordinary and detailed part of a national history series about what made the UK a world power. We might have a Royal Navy, but without the Merchant Navy we would all starve and have no IPads!
Richard Woodman's story is both, by turns, inspiring and depressing. It inspires through the actions and stories of the seafarers and seatraders themselves, and it depresses due to the actions and inactions of successive Governments and the shortsighted over profite centred ship owners....
A brilliant book - anyone interested in UK History should read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well what can we say, 7 April 2014
By 
R. W. Hughes "hugdavliv" (exiled welshman) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A History of the British Merchant Navy, Vol. 5: Fiddler's Green: The Great Squandering, 1921-2010 (Hardcover)
Narrative is like listening to my father, but with objective editing. Dad was a chief engineer at sea. Good yarn as they used to say.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, 16 Feb 2014
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This review is from: A History of the British Merchant Navy, Vol. 5: Fiddler's Green: The Great Squandering, 1921-2010 (Hardcover)
My Father is 90 he was a merchant Navy officer in the 40's and loves this book - perfect and detailed history
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