Top critical review
Admiralty Salvage in Peace and War
9 October 2009
The early chapters really amount to a history of the Liverpool (later Liverpool and Glasgow) Salvage Association and it's part in the WW1 war effort - which is justified. Chapter Ten - More War, More Salvage, outlines the setting up of the WW2 Admiralty Salvage Department. After WW1 the Department had been disbanded and the equipment had been sold.
The author summarizes Metal Industries involvement correctly,though does not emphasise the crucial part that the McKenzies played in heading up the operational side of the Department during the war. He then says that the lump sum that the Admiralty paid Metal Industries (the McKenzie family company) was 'a great deal less than Risdon Beazley had negotiated for roughly the same service'. In fact Risdon Beazley became the principal Admiralty Salvage contractor in WW2, so the service that Risdon Beazley C.B.E. provided was of far great magnitude than the other managers.
In 1940 RB managed thirty requisitioned ships, as many as all of the other managers combined. The Admiralty's continuing satisfaction with the man and his firm was shown by the fact that RB took on the management of another thirty new builds as they war progressed and the vessels that it managed saw service as far afield as the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. The firm controlled all but a few wreck removal vessels at Normandy - including six in the U.S. sector; with the salvage officers and salvage operations being controlled by Commodore McKenzie R.N.V.R. Sadly none of this is covered in the book, which means that it is rather incomplete and not balanced.
Co-author and publisher Risdon Beazley, Marine Salvor ISBN 978-0-9557441-0-5