Saturday, January 30, 2010

SEA LOGISTICS: Keeping the Navy Ready Aye Ready

By Mark Watson

Hardcover: 280 pages Publisher: Vanwell Publishing (April 2004) Language: English ISBN-10: 1551250810 ISBN-13: 978-1551250816 Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches

The history of the navy's Supply Branch has often been passed over for more exhilarating aspects of naval warfare such as submarine hunting or the latest marvels of naval technical engineering.

The important contribution of the men and women who make up the Supply Department is nonetheless an essential element of the Canadian Navy. It affects every soldier's ability to carry out his or her role in combat or in peacetime. Without effective logistics service people would not be transported to battle, fed their dinner, or supplied with their ammunition. Every member of the ship sees its impact on a daily basis - from food services, pay and spare parts to replacement of clothing, posting arrangements and canteen services.

This book examines the development of the Accountant, Supply and Secretariat, and Logistics Branch from the Navy's earliest days through the busy peace enforcement operations of the 1990s, up to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Along with the extensively researched and documented history the author has provided profiles of some of the support personnel whose service was outstanding, and humorous anecdotes from various contributors.

This book looked good at first glance, but reading it left one with a real sense of disappointment. The “history” is mostly anecdotal and riddled with numerous errors. A few examples of the errors include:

• Rear Admiral Cossette photo captioned with the rank Commodore

• Staged photo on page 67

• HMCS Cape Breton was made into an artificial reef and not scrapped

• The AOR concept was trialed by the US and Royal Navies with captured German tankers in the late 1940s long before Canada planned them for inclusion in their fleet

• A mast is misidentified as a yardarm in one photo

• HMCS Preserver operated off Somalia and not HMCS Protecteur

• And most shocking of all, use of “the HMCS” instead of the grammatically correct “HMCS”

This book is rubbish and definitely NOT recommended.

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