NAVY NEWS, DECEMBER 2007 49
● ‘A mighty display’... A contemporary postcard celebrates the review of the Home Fleet in the Solent in 1907
The appliance(s) of science
THE Royal Navy of the past battle – whether the blood and
and future meet in Patrick G. smoke of the wooden walls or a
Cox’s science fiction novel Out hi-tech clash in 2204, a scrap is
of Time (Authorhouse, £8.99 still a scrap.
ISBN 1-4259-5995-4 (sc)) – and The captain of the Vanguard
the author’s dark blue take also has a particular interest
on starship fleets of the 23rd in the welfare of his
Century works well. ‘stowaways’ in another
Three young sailors on thread tying old and
the 74-gun warship HMS new together.
Spartan find themselves There is
dragged from the more than a
Napoleonic era to hint of the
the 23rd-Century 21st-Century
spaceship Navy present as
NECS Vanguard the crew voyage
through a freak through a hostile
accident. environment in their
But adapting to this metal ship, just as 21st-
400-year dislocation Century submariners do in
is made easier by the their own HMS Vanguard, to
enduring RN ethos and which the starship bears a more
esprit de corps – and as the trio than passing resemblance.
learn to cope with the future, the Although the book would have
officers and men of the Vanguard benefited from tighter editing, it
begin to learn from the past. is an engaging story, and one
Human nature also endures, where the science does not get
and the political power struggle in the way of the fiction.
of the future is not beyond the The author has also left the
comprehension of those who door open for more adventures,
had been fighting to blunt so perhaps we have not seen
Buonaparte’s ambitions when the last of the time travelling tars
they were so rudely interrupted. Harry Heron, Ferghal O’Connor
And fighting men in Nelson’s and Danny Gunn.
navy were used to the threat of
Hype and hyper-tension
WARSHIPS IFR’S Guide to the Royal Navy 2008
The fourth edition will include analysis articles on
capabilities and operations, ship profiles and a pennant
listing. 64 pages with colour and black & white pictures,
THOSE who cannot
Twenty thousand people rushed at the 1909 Spithead review was The “violent articles” in the
s o f t b a c k . P r i c e : £ 5 . 2 5 *
remember the past are
the pier at Southend so they could late returning to the naval base, German and British press, wrote
On Sale: November 30th 2007
condemned to repeat it.
tour HMS Dreadnought. Some depositing its ‘cargo’ of unfed Sir Edward Goschen, Ambassador
fainted, others were bruised and journalists. to Berlin, were “quite unnecessary.
Available From: All Good Newsagents
So warned Spanish-American
battered. Several people even And why did the RN pamper Press violence only embittered
philosopher George Santayana.
Or Direct From: HPC Publishing (NN),
suffered broken ribs. the media? Not least to relations.”
It is something the British media
Souvenir stalls sold further its own ends. This is an impressively-
Drury Lane, St Leonards-on-Sea,
might take note of.
postcards, commemorative Jacky Fisher conceded researched volume offering a real East Sussex, TN38 9BJ, UK. *Postage
Each major sporting event, they
programmes, fl ags. There to the German insight into the minds of Britons
whip up nationalism and public
and packing is applicable on direct orders.
were Dreadnought naval attaché in and Germans, their leaders, their
biscuits and toys. London that he newspapers and their navies a
UK = FREE; Overseas + £2
And each major sporting event,
The pomp and was quite pleased century ago.
invariably the sportsmen and
ceremony of the by the “little naval It ended, inevitably, in the
women fail to deliver and the
‘Thames Naval scare” which had two countries locking horns. But
British public feel disheartened.
Review’ came provoked widespread there was no Der Tag, no second
A century ago it was not
in a climactic public concern – and Trafalgar.
sporting stars which Fleet Street
decade at the prompted the government “People are disappointed that
HP BOOKFINDERS: Established
rallied behind, but the ‘castles of
end of a century to order eight new we have not had a Trafalgar or
professional service locating out
steel’ of the Royal Navy.
of increasing ‘naval battleships in 1909. Tsushima,” the great Fred Jane of print titles on all
Nothing made an Englishman’s
theatre’, as the author Admirals and naval wrote just a fortnight into the war. subjects. No obligation or SAE
heart swell with pride more
calls it. correspondents on both sides of “Events of that sort make very
required. Contact: Mosslaird,
than knowledge that his country
Ship launches became ever the North Sea were convinced that fi ne reading and also fi ne pieces
possessed the fi nest navy on the
Brig O’ Turk, Callander, FK17 8HT
more dramatic: the religious and all this rhetoric, all this pomp, all for picture palaces, but they are
Telephone/Fax: (01877) 376377
musical trappings of ceremonies this clamour for battleships, made not modern warfare.”
But as Jan Ruger shows in
only really arrived in the 1870s, peace, not war, more likely. And so the Great War at sea
his outstanding Great Naval
surprisingly. It wasn’t just The Royal Navy was to be so became the great bore at sea.
Game: Britain and Germany in
launches which became spectacle. powerful that no-one would dare The dreadnoughts came to
the Age of Empire (Cambridge
By the turn of the 20th Century, challenge it. “The best way to grips only once – at Jutland,
University Press, £50 ISBN 978-
even the laying of the fi rst keel make war impossible is to make which proved to be an immense
0-521-875769), such fervour
plate became a theatrical affair, victory certain,” First Lord of disappointment.
and enthusiasm – or, seen from captured on camera and recorded the Admiralty Winston Churchill Britons were weaned on the AUTHOR
the distance of 100 years, hubris in the press. proclaimed. spirit of Nelson.
Independent publisher currently
– had inevitable and fateful All this was set against a Unfortunately, the Kaiser didn’t They expected a victory, but it
seeking authors in all categories
consequences. backdrop of a media explosion. agree. His shipyards tried to keep had to be a victory as great and as
Between 1897 and 1914 the
For more information contact:
The popular press mushroomed pace with each new launch. His glorious as any in history.
peoples of Britain and Germany on the cusp of the Dreadnought offi cers toasted Der Tag (The Day) The surrender of the High Seas Blenheim Press
were stirred up by the media era. ‘Picture palaces’ sprang – the day when the High Seas Fleet in November 1918 is as 35 Market Place (NN),
like never before as the two up across the land. Illustrated Fleet would wipe the Royal Navy complete a victory as the Royal St Albans, Herts, AL3 5DL
nations built ever more powerful magazines fl ew off the shelves. off the Seven Seas. Navy has ever attained. But it was Tel: 01727 852016 Fax: 01727 843716
battleships and a cold war raged Germans in particular delighted in Only a few dissenters warned not glorious.
between them. Flottenschauspiele – ‘Fleet spectacle’ where the naval fever and “Because of this lack of display,
Brits have always looked with – mock battles fought by model fervour would lead. “And still one feels that the unthinking do
3500+ GOOD QUALITY
disdain at Prussian and German battleships in lakes and ponds. the megalomaniacs clamour for not fully realise what the nation
militarism. British militarism, or The Royal Navy especially more,” wrote the Labour Leader – indeed what the whole world
RARE AND OUT OF PRINT
rather British ‘navalism’, however, embraced the rise of the penny during the Thames review. “The – owes to the British Navy,” First
was more than acceptable. press. appetite for armaments grows Sea Lord ‘Rosie’ Wemyss astutely
In July 1909, the Home Fleet It bent over backwards to with what it feeds on.” observed.
ON LINE AT
paraded along the Thames from accommodate journalists and The diplomats tried to close With the hindsight of history, www.mclarenbooks.co.uk
the Pool of London down to the photographers so coverage could Pandora’s Box. They too feared one cannot help thinking that catalogues issued retail premises (restricted hours)
estuary, a chain of iron and steel be maximised. It even apologised where the tubthumping would the seeds of today’s disinterest in
40 miles long. in Parliament when a press boat lead. affairs naval were thus sown.
Read us online at:
McLAREN BOOKS LTD.
22 JOHN STREET, HELENSBURGH, G84 8BA
tel. 01436 676453 email firstname.lastname@example.org
An age of Castles and Battles
TWO bibles which celebrate the the last 18 months of war. Hewitt picked up a “very the Battles (named for great
deeds of their respective class Escorting was something strong echo” and tried to clashes in British military history) HMS INVINCIBLE
of ships have come out of the the class was particularly classify the unknown were the apogee of wartime
By Neil McCart
Maritime Books stable. good at; just ten quantity. design.
The well illustrated story of the first of
The Castle-class corvette was merchantmen were “It soon Instead, the ‘beautiful Battles’
the Royal Navy’s new generation of aircraft
immortalised in fiction and on sunk in convoys became looked for a role in a post-war
carriers from the Falklands War to the early
years of the 21st Century.
celluloid in The Cruel Sea (as the shepherded by obvious it world. Some were converted
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in fact, courtesy of Norman drawn upon large.” The details (although the Battles had no
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THREE ARK ROYALS 1938~1999 £23.00 + P&P
homage to the 39 ships and the latter which bring these informed the sonar team into the early Cold War fleet,
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HMS GLORY 1944-1961 £19.95 + P&P
charts the month-by-month (and, of the Atlantic to darkly comic Battle-class destroyer dealt with in Battle Class Destroyers (£20
Please add £2.75 p&p for the UK & EU or £4.50 for worldwide surface mail. Payment
at times, day-by-day) career of episodes. neither – all arrived too late on the ISBN 978-1-904459-286), an apt
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048-049_NN_Dec.indd 2 21/11/07 17:07:11
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