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Customer Review

on 11 March 2015
Being very familiar with Sam Halpern and Mark Chirnside's research and work, I was caught off guard by this book. The collision between the HMS Hawke and RMS Olympic in September 1911 has generated much controversy over the years, and the specifics of the accident have been shrouded in mystery and by often repeated speculation masquerading as fact. I knew that the authors were conducting research into this incident, but did not know the details, or that it would become a book. The Sting of the Hawke is a small but weighty volume. Halpern and Chirnside put on their sleuthing hats and closely investigate the evidence of what the circumstances of the collision were, and why it happened. Rather than assuming often repeated details are true, or trying to assign blame, the authors return to the raw evidence, including information disclosed during the investigation into the sinking. They allow the evidence to guide their conclusions, and some surprising details are revealed. The Sting of the Hawke is a technically-heavy volume, but is easy to understand, particularly with salient points being illustrated by graphics or other visuals. While it isn't a book for someone with just a passing interest in maritime history, it is absolute gold for liner or maritime researchers and buffs, and I highly recommend it. Hats off to the authors for an excellent investigation, and for setting the record straight. It is hard to imagine coming any closer to the truth of the accident, at least not without newly discovered evidence or a time machine.
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