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53 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hands to Action Stations
I took this book as it was being offered free and little expectation of it. Having read it I found it to be informative and interesting, an insight into the life of a young naval officer during WW 2.
Published 20 months ago by Kindle Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair
Good tales but the Kindle version leaves a lot to be desired in punctuation and presentation - pretty authentic if not a trifle juvenile in writing standards
Published 5 months ago by Jonnar


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hands to Action Stations, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
I took this book as it was being offered free and little expectation of it. Having read it I found it to be informative and interesting, an insight into the life of a young naval officer during WW 2.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and very real tale, let down by bad editing, 27 Dec 2012
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
A mixed bag of a book - from the homely (letters home to Mum/Dad, asking for spare trousers and sending best wishes to young brother) to the mundane (personal tales of missing luggage, routine at sea) to the exciting (hunting the Bismarck on HMS King George V, personally invading Algiers, being shot at by the Scharnhorst off North Cape in HMS Matchless); making an interesting and very personal story about the war as a very young lieutenant on a series of RN ships in the Med, the Atlantic, the North Sea, the Arctic... Fascinating, in parts, but sadly rather let down by bad editing. A lot of typos, inconsistet spellings of the same word (gerrycan/jerrycan etc.), missing full stops and misplaced commas interrupting the storyteller. Yes, I'm fussy, but I find such bad editing disrespectful to the author, and it spoils the book a bit. Of course I am very grateful for the service Lt. Poland did in the War!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Good Read, 6 Jan 2013
By 
J. G. Mepham "JG" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
Peter Poland was there at both the sinking of the Bismark and the Scharnhorst,how many other people can claim that.
This book gives the impression that life was never boring, if they weren't fighting the Germans, they were fighting storms
and the cold of Russian convoys.
I hope there is another book to follow on from this one, telling what he did in the navy after the war ended ???.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating account, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
Peter Poland was present at two of the greatest Naval battles of the Second World War in the European Theatre, and many other less notable, but no less important naval engagements, and presents a lively and crisp account of his experiences. The addition of letters home, at the end of each chapter, adds greatly to the narration, since those letters show the thoughts of, and attitudes towards, his experiences at the time, rather than in sober recollection after 70 years. Not that his recollection is not also important. He gives a fascinating account of his very varied and active wartime career and presents us with the very human side of taking part in dangerous missions and living an uncomfortable existence with no guarantee of seeing tomorrow. As I would expect from the Navy, no histrionics or drama - just a sober account of "doing a job" to the best of his ability. Well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BZ, 19 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
A very comprehensive tale of an RN officer during WW 2 ; simply told and written in a way that brings the reality of life at sea to the general public. Fascinating letters and first hand accounts make this a must read for all enthusiasts of the RN and life at sea . From one sailor to another Bravo Zulu.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wren in a duffle coat!, 17 Dec 2012
By 
Ray J Cowling "Author" (North Yorkshire,England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
As the author of The Captain`s Story a book about the Royal Navy`s youngest ever Captain`s fight to help win back the Falkland Islands, and conquer his own personal demons, I am a huge fan of Royal Navy books. I would like to say how much I enjoyed `Hands to Action Stations.` The Author`s descriptions about everyday working conditions on board the ships he served on, are extremely vivid indeed. This is a man who obviously enjoyed his wartime service immensely.
Special highlights for me included his description of the sinking of The Bismarck. Also the time he spent serving in the Murmansk Convoys, in treacherous conditions during the harsh winters of the war. Especially moving was his account of leaving two thousand German sailors from the sunken Scharnhorst, to perish in an Arctic storm.
On a lighter note he talks about being promoted to `bomb disposal officer,` even though he received no training whatsoever in this department! And oh yes, I loved the bit about the `Wren in a duffle coat!`
All in all a very enjoyable, entertaining and honest read. Well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tale of the RN in WWII, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
Lt Cdr Poland has some great (and probably occasionally terrifying) experiences to relate. Some of these (Bismarck, Torch) will be known to many readers, but the personal perspective he brings is invaluable. He writes engagingly, and comes across as both extremely determined and rather good natured, particularly in the circumstances.

I'd have to agree with some other reviews (a minority of which seem a little mean spirited) with regard to the way this book could have been improved with a little proof reading. However, the typos and (very occasional) repetitions shouldn't spoil the book unless one has an extremely low annoyance threshold, so I'd be happy to recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 20 Nov 2013
This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
Peter Poland writes in a very easy style. He does not glamourize nor gloat about his,experiences but teams his story from his perspective interspersed with letters he wrote hone to his family. A terrific read and well worth reading for his first hand reporting of some major sea battles including the sinking of the Bismarck.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
great war yarn
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for WWII navy enthusiasts, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Hands to Action Stations - Memoirs of a very young Naval Officer (1939 - 1945) (Kindle Edition)
I bought this on a whim, seeing the very reasonable Kindle price. And I am very glad I did! Expecting a fairly routine account, I was amazed at the author's exploits, most notably being in at the hunting and sinking of the Bismarck. His straightforward writing style makes the nautical terms and references quite easy to understand.

Some readers may find a little jarring the inclusion of his letters home at the end of each chapter. I can understand this, but I found them a useful reminder that he was still a teenager when the events described took place.

Highly recommended.
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