Friday, August 14, 2009

Fastest in the World The Saga of Canada's Revolutionary Hydrofoils

By John Boileau ISBN 13 978-0-88780-621-6 100+ b&w and color illustrations 96 Pages 2004 $24.95
Having had the pleasure of knowing personally two retired Commander (L) s from the Royal Canadian Navy - Hal Smith and Ralph Fisher - and having been in the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, I looked forward to reading this book.
The text of this book is indicative of good editing in that it flows well and stays on topic.
A good history of the life of Alexander Graham Bell, his wife and colleagues is very well done. Although well known for his more famous inventions, Bell`s lifestyle and research were only possible due to his wife`s wealth.
The early hydrofoils tested on waters off the shore of Baddeck, Nova Scotia are detailed. The parsimonious nature of the Canadian Government to spend any money on matters defense were not much different 100 years ago as they are today.
A few minor erroneous points are noted:
On page 42 the photo caption fails to mention HMCS Bras d Or in drydock at Halifax Shipyard. Also in the text on that page reference is made to a frigate in 1969 - Canada had no frigates in commission in 1969.
Page 80 destroyer escorts are misidentified as frigates
Only mentions military hydrofoils from Boeing. The Boeing Jeftfoil achieved limited commercial success around the world.
A very fine addition to the historical record of the both the Canadian Navy, warship development and Nova Scotia, this book is a worthy addition to any library of these topics.

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