Through the Eyes of Albert RN

Cover-Through Alberts eyes
By Tony Bentley-Buckle
Edited by Captain Peter Hore RN
Whittles Publishing, Caithness, 2013
Hardback; 143 pages with 44 b/w illustrations and end notes.
ISBN 978-184995-066-4

Reviewed by David Hobbs

THIS IS the second in a series of autobiographical books, edited by Peter Hore, that focus on people connected with naval warfare and the sea. Tony Bentley-Buckle led a particularly adventurous life; he was the son of a rubber planter in Ceylon, born in Belgium while his parents were on holiday and subsequently raised in England by aunts before joining the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1938. In the early war years he served in the cruisers Dunedin and Edinburgh before joining the battleship Revenge in the Eastern Fleet during 1941. Continue reading

RN and USN at war in the Middle East

Cover-Strike from the Sea
By Iain Ballantyne
Pen & Sword Maritime, Barnsley, 2004, pp.256; ISBN 1-84415-059-3.

Reviewed by Dr Saul Kelly, King’s College, London.

THE AUTHOR wrote this book within a year of the toppling of the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq by an Allied Coalition led by the United States and the United Kingdom. It has been reissued by Pen & Sword Books Ltd, presumably to coincide with the tenth anniversary of that significant event, which can now be seen as sounding the death knell of the old nationalist dictatorships in the Middle East and the emergence of their old enemies, the Islamists, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, the Yemen, and Syria. Continue reading

The story of HMAS Brisbane — the Steel Cat

Steel_Cat_Front_CoverSteel Cat: the story of HMAS Brisbane, Vietnam and Gulf War Veteran
by Ken Doolan: Grinkle Press, 2009. ISBN 9780980282115. 208PP.
RRP $22 +$10 postage

Reviewed by Ian Pfennigwerth, Proud veteran of DDGs Brisbane and Perth

WHY review a four-year-old book? Because I think that it is worth consideration, even more so now as international events have demonstrated ever more clearly the value to Australia of ships like our lost guided missile destroyers. Ken Doolan was one of 25 fortunate men to have commanded Her Majesty’s Australian Ship Brisbane, last of three guided missile destroyers (DDG) commissioned into the RAN in the 1960s, and the story he tells is not of the ‘Boys’ Own’ variety, although the ships themselves inspired that kind of reaction. Continue reading

Australia’s lost naval vessels

Cover - Lost - the Stories of all ships Cover jpgLost: The stories of all ships lost by the Royal Australian Navy
by Allen Lyne, Moana Heights SA, Self-published, 2013. ISBN: 9780646903750.
RRP $32 + $3 postage within Australia

Reviewed by Ian Pfennigwerth

WHO KNEW that the RAN had lost 45 ships in its hundred years of existence? Probably nobody, until Allen Lyne spent five years researching the issue. His book describes the background, circumstances and the events leading to these losses, some of them well known, others far from so. Those not overly familiar with the history and circumstances in which the RAN has operated and fought will be grateful for the author’s thorough explanations. Lyne has also used his researcher’s prerogative to pass judgment on who or what was to blame for the losses. Continue reading

Land Based Air Power or Aircraft Carriers?

Dyndal NEW_Dyndal JktLand Based Air Power or Aircraft Carriers?
A Case Study of the British Debate about Maritime Air Power in the 1960s
by Gjert Lage Dyndal
ISBN 978-1-4094-3335-4
Ashgate Publishing both in the UK and USA
180 pages, 5 maps, 4 photographs

Reviewed by David Hobbs

THIS IS the sixth in a series of studies by the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies. The author is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Norwegian Air Force and Dean of Academics at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy who was awarded his PhD by the University of Glasgow in 2009. He has written three earlier books on military subjects. Continue reading