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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem - relevant for leaders and for all naval officers today, 16 Oct 2007
By 
L. E. May "Lester May" (Camden Town, London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
This little book is indeed a gem. Not only does one salute the writers for their incisive advice to Royal Navy officers in a time of total war, this book makes clear the steep learning curve of those many civilians who became sea officers in World War II. The introduction begins with a lovely quotation from some time RNVR officer Sir Alec Guinness.

But this is more than a document - rather, a collection of documents - of war history. It is a pocket-book that will be instructive for naval officers, of any nationality, even today. Anyone who has had sea command, indeed served in a warship, will enjoy reflecting on chapters entitled "Your Ship", "HMS Duncan - Captain's Orders" and "The Home Fleet Destroyer Orders". Those in the sick bay might not so much enjoy the two chapters aimed at Medical Officers at sea in wartime!

Any naval rating who has been a defaulter will be interested to see the advice offered to investigating officers (too late to request 'to state a complaint' now, though!) and the final chapter, on "Mutiny in the Royal Navy", is a lesson for all time.

The section on leadership is just as relevant today, perhaps moreso, and is not just for naval officers; the advice should be read by anyone in a leadership role, whether in the armed forces or civilian life. Those who have served in the Royal Navy, as well as other services, will surely nod in agreement as they read "Never forget that the Ratings have few rights; but they definitely have got a right to good Officers", and "Do not despise advice tendered to you by your subordinates", as well as "There is nothing more irritating to a sailor than to be addressed as 'You there' or something akin to that. He likes to know that he is known by name." At this price, I'd wager that this is one of the best value books on leadership on the market today - the basics are timeless. There are indeed good lessons from history.

For those with an interest in family history, with ancestors or relatives who served in the Royal Navy, this little volume will certainly give a good idea of the responsibilities of naval officers and of life in the Royal Navy. Although the book cover states 1944, it could just as well read 1964, 1984 or, perhaps, 2004.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless wisdom in leadership, 13 Aug 2008
By 
Faure Marvin (Divonne, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
As an ex-Naval Officer, now consultant in leadership, I couldn't pass this book by.

For many people, "military leadership" means strict hierarchy, shouted orders and unquestioned obedience. This book sets the record straight.

The times when shouted orders are necessary are actually few and far between, and unquestioned obedience is earned by mutual respect, patiently built over a long period of time. The book is particularly striking for the emphasis placed on earning that respect, and for the warning against the abuse of power.

In organisations today the abuse of power is usually called "ego" and overbearing managers are referred to as Alpha males. Such behaviour remains unfortunately prevalent in the workplace and is the source of much harmful stress.

In the words of Admiral Willis, Second Sea Lord, writing in 1944: "Do not forget that it is within your power to cause considerable mental anguish to your younger officers by a consistent tone of sarcasm and contempt... and what is worse, nobody is going to tell you about it. In all officers, but above all in Commanding Officers, the words Officer and Gentleman should be entirely synonymous".

The book is full of good, specific advice for people in leadership positions. This advice remains as valid in organisations today as it was in the wartime Royal Navy in 1944.

Here is one example:

"You must look upon your talks with your men as one of the most important things you do. An intelligent man wants both information and inspiration. Work out exactly how to say it beforehand. If Winston Churchill has to rehearse all his speeches, there is no reason why you should not. Explain all you can, giving praise where due."

To get the most of the book, you will nevertheless need a minimum of interest and sympathy for the conditions of life at sea in a warship. At only 3.99, you don't have much to lose!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket0book.1944, 4 July 2014
By 
Mrs. E. A. Wake "Super Gran" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
Christmas gift for ex navy man. Well received.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944, 6 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
This is a great little book with some facinating and inspiring references to leadership. My main critisism is that it is a little disjointed. More thought could have been given to the context layout of the different subject matter. There also seems to be an over large section referring to the requirements of Medical Officers.

All of this not withstanding, it is a facinating little leadership reference that many civilian managers would well be advised to take a look at!
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4.0 out of 5 stars RN review, 14 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
An excellent iinight into wartime priorities and attitudes developed over 4 years of conflict. I found it very interesting and well presented
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 3 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
I bought this for my boyfriend who is a CPO in the RN now. He loved it! Great illustrations and a very interesting read. I recommend this to anyone with an interest in the Navy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Navy Pocket-book, 7 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
Arrived quickly and the condition of the book was great.
It was a present for my boyfriend and he loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb bit of reference material ..., 23 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
Many years ago I inherited a dog-eared copy of this handy little book and, though I was not in the RN, found it exceptionally helpful in developing my own career. As a reference tool for writers and those interested in the wartime RN, this is an invaluable resource.

Conceived to fill the knowledge and experience gap for new junior officers, many of whom had never been to sea in their lives, it was stroke of genius. I'm pretty sure it also saved a lot of grief, hardship and helped bridge the gaps between training and reality of a life at sea, in command of men far more knowledgeable and experienced. Certainly the man who gave me my original copy made no bones about the grief it saved him during his time at sea.

Even today it has lessons for those in command of anything and everything - and even for the ubiquitous "manager."
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5.0 out of 5 stars another great book, 7 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
another book in the set for my husbands christmas present. he thought they were all great. see my other review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem...., 6 Jan 2011
By 
Allan One (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 (Hardcover)
Really, really good....but not an easy read. If you stand the 'Official Prose' and 'Admiralty Style', this short, sharp book is fantastic. It shines a brilliant light on the thinking of the Royal Navy late in WWII.

Honestly, really good.
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The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944
The Royal Navy Officer's Pocket-book, 1944 by Brian Lavery (Hardcover - 20 Aug 2007)
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