- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; PB Reissue edition (6 Feb. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781311846
- ISBN-13: 978-1781311844
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Very Strange Way to Go to War: The Canberra in the Falklands Paperback – 6 Feb 2014
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
A well-written and vivid account that provides a marvellous mix of personal recollection and the compelling tale of the almost surreal events of 30 years ago(The Telegraph)
About the Author
ANDREW VINE is an award-winning journalist and assistant editor of the Yorkshire Post. He is author of Last of the Summer Wine: The Story of the World’s Longest Running Comedy Series, and of A Very Strange Way to Go To War: The Canberra in the Falklands. He lives in Leeds.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
The incongruity is sailing to battle at the ends of the earth in the glamorous surroundings of a cruise ship shines through the pages, the P&O crew doing their best to keep things as close to normal operation as possible, the band of the marines becoming strolling players providing entertainment. The story becomes more tense as all realize that they won't be turning back and you can feel you are there in San Carlos water as the Argentinians unsuccessfully target the ship repeatedly. The book tells of the great animosity between Canberra and QE2 when she eventually comes south. We hear how QE2 refused to transfer supplies of food to Canberra with the troops despite the latter ship running low - the cunarder claiming she needed it for the return journey.Read more ›
I think it would be a great read, no matter how unfamiliar you are with the ship. It gives a great perspective on how very different sets of people come together under strained circumstances and work as a team in preparing for the trip south, and what they experienced in the Falklands. It made me laugh and cry, and reminded me how great the human spirit can be, and what an amazing vessel Canberra was.
The author discusses the life of the Canberra from its beginnings in the fifties to its scrapping in the late nineties, but mostly focuses on its 1982 role as a troopship. It also carried supplies, served as a hospital ship when required, and also carried prisoners of war back to Argentina - well away from Buenos Aires, where by that time the junta was in trouble so it was wise to land those prisoners near the southern tip.
The book discusses the conversion of the cruise liner to a warship, explaining that it was far from ideal in that there was plenty of glass, wood and other material that would be avoided as far as possible in a warship, but that it had the capacity needed. Other advantages became apparent along the journey including excellent training space, but the ship was still vulnerable - and if the Argentine commanders had realized that the Canberra was carrying troops, they would have attacked her as soon as they spotted her at anchor. Britain must be grateful that initially, Argentina focused in attacking the warships.
Plenty of coverage is given to the way the facilities on board were adapted, the relations between crew and troops and how that developed as the days and weeks rolled by. There was also a dispute between the Canberra, which was in danger, and the QE2, which stayed well away from the main action, but brought extra troops to South Georgia along with much needed extra food, but refused to let the Canberra have any of that food.Read more ›
This is the excellently narrated story, now released in paperback, of how the P&O liner Canberra was requisitioned (STUFT) in 1982 and despatched to the Falklands War as a troopship.
The book covers in fine detail the commandeering, conversion and loading up of Canberra for war. It goes on to provide a fascinating study in leadership as exercised by Captain Scott-Masson and his RN counterpart Beagle Burne [who died shortly after this book was first published, see [...] ], not only in harmonising the disparate tribal customs and expectations of the MN, RN, RM, Army (3Para) and the Press, but later in battle. The account of Canberra under sustained air attack is gripping. The P&O people stepped up to wholly unfamiliar tasks, such as helicopter operations, replenishment at sea and station-keeping, in a quite exemplary fashion and exhibited the same stoic courage that has characterised the British Merchant Service for hundreds of years.
Extensive arrangements had to be extemporised for handling wounded, British at first but later also Argentine. This reflected enormous credit on both RN and P&O medics, the RM Bandies and the numerous P&O volunteers who assisted what must have been, for them, a grisly and un-nerving task.
Risks have to be taken in war; it was incredibly risky but probably unavoidable that Canberra was sent in to San Carlos. It was sheer luck that this was not a risk too far, which, if it had gone wrong, besides the actual loss or damage to an almost defenceless ship and the probably large casualty bill, the damage to the entire expedition and at a remove to the Government hardly bears imagining.
As it was, there were some unedifying, unhelpful and dishonourable contributions by the BBC.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought as a gift for my husband, he's in the merchant navy and he says this book was very good.Published 18 months ago by C. Pearson
This book is so well written that after a few chapters you almost feel you are aboard with the troops and the P&O officers and crew. Read morePublished on 6 May 2015 by G. McNab
Good book, filled with stories of going to war in a great cruise ship.Published on 20 Oct. 2014 by Susan Bailey
A great book about a even greater ship,I was a member of HMS Ardent who she took down to South Georgia,and we where looked after as if we were cruising. Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2014 by David Harrison-Taylor
Describes this historical mission of a great liner to war, with particular attention to the people involved, both military and Merchant Navy. Read morePublished on 27 May 2014 by Mr. R. D. Lancaster