“Ship – 5000 Years of Maritime History” by Brian Lavery – A Review

Whilst browsing the few books left in our local library due to their planning to close it down for a year to “improve” it by removing shelving and books and replacing them with computers, “and doubtless a coffee shop and a playpen too” mumbled my partner when proof reading this entry, I came across the above volume.

The book does, indeed, cover shipping from “The Birth of Ships” to “The Global Age” in eight main sections which touch on humans’ first forays onto the seas through early exploration, wars and empire, the age of steam, fishing and whaling to name but a few. It is well penned and lavishly illustrated, as one would expect of a Dorling Kindersley publication.

There is no direct mention of Robb’s that I can see, but the generic information in the section on the two world wars is well worth a peek.

This era, which I make no apologies for describing in more detail as it is of more interest to me personally, is covered in four main sections which it describes for itself thus:

The road to war – the constant striving for international supremacy took many forms in the early 1900s.

The Russo-Japanese War, The great arms race, The Great White Fleet, Naval air power, the Suez Canal, Early submarines, Great liners, The loss of the Titanic, Polar exploration.

The First World War – the war at sea necessitated the development of new technology and new strategies.

The war in the North Sea, U-boats and the sinking of the Lusitania, The Dardanelles campaign, The Battle of Jutland, The 1917-18 U-boat campaign.

Between the Wars – the post war years saw mass unemployment, luxury travel and the rise of fascism.

Naval treaties, The Great Depression Luxury liners, Flying boats and airships, Developments in naval aviation, The new German and Japanese Navies.

The Second World War – Air power had a decisive effect in some of the greatest naval battles ever fought.

Dunkirk, The Battle of the Atlantic, The war in the Mediterranean, Pearl Harbour, The D-Day landings, The Battle of Midway and the US counter-attack in the Pacific.”

There is also a useful glossary for those of us newer to shipbuilders’ and sailors’ terminology!

So if your local library is still up and running, you might have a wee look for it, or request it from Morningside Library as they wont be needing it for a while after I have returned it this weekend!

My thanks to Baird for drawing another original cartoon for my blog.

Copyright: Ruth Patterson 2011

Cartoon Copyright: Baird 2011

About Ruth Macadam

Great Granddaughter of Henry Robb. School teacher.
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