Sunday, August 23, 2009

Naval Accidents Since 1945

By Malcolm Maclean
Maritime Books 2008 No ISBN listed
LCDR Malcolm Maclean of the Royal Navy has taken on a daunting task to compile a one volume record of naval mishaps since the end of the Second World War.
What must have taken a staggering amount of work should be read by naval officers of all nations as a simple reminder that anything, no matter how seemingly innocuous can lead to tragedy. Maclean's passion for this work is evident and is admired.
A detailed chronology is included which lists two causes of ship loss one would never think of -- quicksand and collision with a dolphin.
A few errors are contained in the text such as confusion when to employ USS or USNS in a historical context, use of a wartime hull number for one ship and a post-1948 number for another in the same sentence, 2182 and 500 KHz are not VHF radio frequencies, guessing at national prefixes for certain navy’s ships, Sevastopol is in the Black Sea not the Baltic and San Francisco Bay Shipyard – was that Hunters Point or Mare Island Naval Shipyard?
A record of sources via footnote would have been a nice addition.
However these small quibbles should not deter anyone with an interest in naval history for reading this amazing effort.
Author Maclean and Maritime Books have put out a near perfect naval reference work.

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