The Navy Vol_58_Part1 1996 - Navy League of Australia

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The Navy Vol_58_Part1 1996 - Navy League of Australia

BOOK REVIEWS

noticeable gaps in the listings, mainly in

the World War I casualty lists. Those who

lost their lives in the submarine AE1, the

SYDNEY -EMDEN clash and the capture

of German New Guinea (Australian Naval

and Military Expeditionary Force) are fully

documented yet the bulk of World War I

deaths are missing.

The four crewmen of AE2 who died in

Turkish POW camps (following the

sinking of AE2 in April 1915), the RAN

Bridging Train personnel killed at

Gallipoli and in the Sinai, those who died

while serving in the cruisers in the North

Sea and those who died on home service

(such as five TINGIRA boys who drowned

when their cutter was swamped in Sydney

Harbour in 1919) are forgotten.

The RAN lost less than 100 men in

World War I, yet barely half of these are

recorded in 'For Those In Peril'. This is

odd noting the availability of full records

at the Australian War Memorial and in

Navy Office (Directorate of Sailors Career

Management and Directorate of Naval

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Officers Postings).

World War II is substantially better

dealt with, but I could not find a listing for

the three RAN ratings (Able Seaman Falls,

Marsh and Huston) of "Z* Special Unit

who were killed or executed by the

Japanese in 1945 following the failed

operation Rimau.

The deaths of RAN personnel in the

Vietnam conflict for HMAS HOBART and

the RAN Helicopter Flight are recorded

but for some obscure reason Clearance

Diving Team 3's (CDT 3) single fatality

(Able Seaman BK Wojcik) is missing and

CPO Hunt of HOBART is incorrectly

listed as an Ordinary Seaman!

Now don't get me wrong. I think Vic

Cassell has done an excellent job in

putting this book together and turning

what could have been a dry listing of

casualties and ships sunk into a very

readable and worthwhile addition to

Australia's written Naval history.

His descriptions of the ships careers

and how some of the men met their end

make fascinating reading. For example,

the descriptions of the attack on the

corvette PIRIE in which the Gunnery

officers head was removed by a falling

bomb (before it burst on the forecastle

causing further casualties) and the tragic

but accidental death of three men in

HMAS TAMBAR, (when the ship was

entering harbour she failed to give her

recognition signal and was fired on by an

Army shore battery, three of her men were

subsequently killed) are particularly

interesting and items generally glossed

over in the official history.

On the whole "For those in peril" is an

excellent book and credit to the author.

Cited as "A comprehensive listing of the

ships and men of the Royal Australian

Navy who paid the supreme sacrifice in

the wars of the Twentieth Century" it is

unfortunately not a complete listing,

however, it is 99% of the way there. I was

not disappointed reading it.

Kangaroo Press, who are becoming

regular publishers of Naval history texts,

have done a particularly good job

publishing with only a few minor

typographical errors. "For Those In Peril"

is a paperback, quite affordable at $29.95

and available at most good bookshops. A

"must have" for all Naval historians, those

interested in the RAN or researching

specific ships or individuals.

MAKE A SIGNAL

By Jack Broome

Published by DB Books

Review copy from Maritime Books

M

ake A Signal" is a classic book

first published in 1955. Within

224 pages it describes a History

by Signals, with many historical, some

dramatic, others funny and sarcastic.

Signals spanning the 18th century to

the mid 1950s are reproduced for the

entertainment of the reader.

Intended to convey information

between the various fleet units over the

last three centuries, the recently republished

"Make A Signal" highlights the

pre-microphone era, with messages

carefully worded to avoid

misunderstanding between ships and their

commanding officers.

Even in 1996, signals are still

employed as a method of naval

communication, despite the advent of

more sophisticated electronic methods.

Examples of some of the briefer signals

from the book are:

From HMS Renown -

"Am being attacked by eleven divebombers."

Later

"Seven dive bombers will not bat in

second innings."

From tug towing battle practice target to

firing cruiser whose shots were falling

too close -

"We aim to please. You aim too

please."

"Make A Signal" is available from

Maritime Books in the UK. Highly

recommended.

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