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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most compelling and complete account., 2 Nov. 2004
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
This book was first published in 1977 under a different title and, in 1979, provided me with almost all the background information I required in order to plan an advanced diving expedition to visit the remains of these two great ships off the Malaysian coast. In the event that expedition never took place but, in later years, I made the mistake of lending that book to someone with the same idea. It is a measure of how outstanding this book "is" that I still regret having made that loan - simply because it was never returned.
Three days after the infamous events of Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, HMS Prince of Wales (a 2 year old 35,000 ton Battleship) and HMS Repulse (a 25 year old Battlecruiser of 26,500 tons) with 4 Destroyer escorts sallied forth from Singapore as "Force Z" without air support. Their Aircraft Carrier HMS Indomitable had run aground outside Kingston Harbour a short time before sailing to join and had to proceed to the USA for repairs to her hull. With the events of Pearl Harbour not yet analysed and understood - i.e. airpower vs. sea power, Force Z was still thought to be more than a match for anything the Japanese might throw at them.
They were very wrong and when the attacks did commence it was all over rather quickly. Two valuable capital ships were sunk with the loss of 840 lives. What happened that day has led to many questions being asked about the conduct of those senior naval officers involved.
In an overwhelmingly authoritative account, these authors have accessed not only British records from WW2 but also Japanese records from the same period and even those from the naval dockyards of Norfolk, Virginia were the repairs to HMS Indomitable were logged as task No S.139.
I am delighted to have a copy of this book back on my bookshelf and if anyone else missed it first time around, now is the time to treat yourself to an excellent account of one of the Royal Navy's greatest wartime disasters which is written in an exciting and compelling way.
Better than any work of fiction.
NM
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and worth reading more than one, 4 May 2008
By 
Richard Maple (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
I first bought this from second hand bookshop under the original title of "Battleship". I have read it several times and even bought a copy for someone else.

The details and background are excellent, but without seeming to slow down the pace of the book. It goes into details about what was known by each of the main decision makers at each step in te fatal operation which lead to the lose of the Prince of Wales and the repulse.

It higlhy recommand this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale that still provokes sadness and anger, 29 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
War is the companion of destruction; and destruction in war is inevitable. The paricular sadness about the loss of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse - which provokes anger - is that it could have been avoided. To send those two great ships beneath skies infested by enemy aircraft, wihout carrier support, was one of the lunatic decisions of the War. (It was seen as the end of an era; but, in reality, it was not, as the United States proved, with its refurbished Iowa-class ships supplied with adequate carrier support.) The struggle of the two Captains, to save their ships, though unavailing, is inspiring
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naval tragedy perfectly told, 1 July 2009
This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
I was familiar with Mr Middlebrook's wonderful histories of the bomber war and had always been struck by how fundamentally humane he was in his outlook. Regardless of which side the participants were on, or the morality under which they were operating, the author always seemed to recognise the tragic nature of events. How would he tackle an event, in this case the sinking of the Repulse and Prince of Wales in 1941, that was so far removed from his previous subjects? Well, he did so in a wonderfully illuminating way using his usual method of expertly blending eyewitness accounts and meticulous research. There's a melancholy about the book that I found almost startling. If anyone has restricted themselves to Mr Middlebrook's airforce histories please be advised that the man's genius covers other subjects. Strongly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, 30 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
Superb reading. Combines erudition and fine historical appraisal with great pace and excitement. This is what historical writing (whether military or otherwise) should be about.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Won't be bettered, 30 Dec. 2009
By 
birchden "birchden" (Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
A detailed, well written and authoritative account of the events of 10 December 1941 when Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk by Japanese naval aircraft off the coast of Malaya.

Middlebrook and Mahoney have succeeded in weaving together a vast wealth of information into a compact and compelling narrative that tells the story of that day from both the British and Japanese viewpoints. Moving at a steady and workmanlike pace they introduce all the necessary evidence without ever becoming dull.

One of the great strengths of the book is the strictly impartial approach the authors have adopted, never taking sides as they follow the events leading up to the fateful day, and always ready to give credit where it is due - for example to I-58, which did such good work in tracking Force Z early on.

Another strength is the way that the authors have skilfully integrated official sources and eyewitness testimony into their narrative, the latter often giving the text a great deal of poignancy.

While the book makes no sensational claims about unearthing new evidence, I suspect most readers will learn something new: for example, how Force Z unwittingly passed within a few miles of heavy cruiser Chokai and her force yet failed to notice anything - surely one of the major 'ifs' of the story.

At the end of the book there is also an interesting 'alternative ending', which suggests how even the modest allied air cover available in the Malayan theatre might have made all the difference - if only it had been requested sooner.

All in all a 'must buy' for anyone interested in the Pacific war, and a book which seems almost certain to stand the test of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & very well written, 4 Jun. 2013
By 
Clipper 314 (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
Having known little about the sinking of these ships I was keen to find out more, and this book answered all the questions I had. Extremely well written it holds the reader throughout, and manages to balance the global picture with the actions of the ships themselves, brought to life with personal accounts of those involved. The detailed analysis of the factors leading to the decisions made is exceptionally worthy of praise, and makes the loss of the ships and loss of lives even more tragic. Full marks for such a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good, very thorough description of an iconic battle, 2 July 2014
By 
Blaise F. Egan "blaisefegan" (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
Absolutely riveting stuff. A very good, very thorough description of an iconic battle. I was gripped from the start. The only criticism I would have is that he mentions Billy MItchell a few times without saying who he was, but I guess the interested reader could look him up. Very well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
as expected . my sister has a kindle copy and our father was on the repulse
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5.0 out of 5 stars Family Research, 11 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Sinking of the Prince of Wales & Repulse: The End of a Battleship Era? (Paperback)
My Uncle served on H.M.S.,Repulse when she was sunk and I never knew until after his death. This book is helping me to understand what happened and what he went through at the time.
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