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The Cruise of Naromis: August in the Baltic 1939 Paperback – 5 Jan 2017

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Duck (UK) Ltd (5 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899262334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899262335
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 8.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
There’s a fairy tale aspect to this book’s genesis – a daughter finding in the attic her father’s account of a cruise he took with some friends and deciding to publish it. But it’s the timing and itinerary of the journey itself that make it such an extraordinary tale. The crew of the Naromis are young men who enjoy cruising, meeting people, and sharing a few drinks. But there’s another telling sentence in the introduction his daughter wrote which gives their voyage a wider perspective: ‘He was’, she writes ‘afraid of being afraid’. And fear was an understandable part of the mix at the time because it was August 1939, he was 21 years old and their trip would take them across the North Sea to the Baltic and even to Germany.

The result is an account which combines anecdotes of the ‘ordinary’ fun and perils of small boat cruising with descriptions of uneasy encounters with minesweepers and other warships all obviously preparing for the conflict that was about to start. It’s reminiscent of the famed ‘Xmas truce’ of 1914, which highlighted the coexistence of the horrors of war and the simple humanity of those involved in waging it. In the course of their voyage the crew meet and befriend various people, including Germans, and for the writer, George Jones, the encounters are ‘normal’ and interesting. Simultaneously, though, he’s forced to acknowledge the evidence of tension and threat embodied in the vessels past which they sail. As they enter a German port, children onshore wave and smile 'at the hated English', the crew make ‘temporary political adjustments’ with their German drinking friends, and ‘good will’ prevails in their relations with nearly all the Germans they meet. At the same time, George notes that some of the places they visited would soon be ‘targets for Bomber Command’.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not the kind of book I would read, but I saw a review in the MOS and it caught my attention on three points. It was about sailing, WW2 period, and reminded me a little of my own father's war which he decided to never talk about, but captured in many photos.
What an incredible adventure, what potential risk from the journey, and the unknown start of hostilities. It's the kind of adventure everyone should experience once in their lifetime. I liked it because it was a story of an experience of an ordinary guy, those who achieve much but rarely get recognised. It is just long enough to cover the story and keep you totally engaged. It is well worth a read .
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Format: Paperback
Every now and then a book pops up out of nowhere and grabs you by the throat – sort of sneaking up under your guard and being impossible to put down.

This is one of them. The author, ‘Honest George’ Jones, volunteered for the
RNVSR – a sort of amateur navy for small boat freaks –with four more middle-class young men, and was sent on a ‘pleasure trip’ up the Kiel Canal to the Baltic. A couple of weeks after they set off, Britain and Germany were at war!

Along the canal, though, school children waved happily at them, and young locals, soon to be the mortal enemy, shared their beer and cigarettes.

Nothing much else happens to them on the trip – thank God – but they take a lot of photographs, which they claim to see as insignificant. Oh yes, of course – German warships gearing up the week before the war breaks out. They were pretty lucky to end up even alive.

This is a charming, funny book, well worth cherishing. The publisher gave me a copy for a fair review. I promise you, this is!
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