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Oceans and war and films and books

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Oceans and war and films and books

Old 16th May 2020, 15:23
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
Uncle Fred and Wingnuts,

Yes it most certainly was brave, but it was not unusual in those days. If you read about some of the great sea voyages of those times, and before, you will see that such things were expected from time to time, it was part of being a sailor - one hand for the ship and one for yourself. Even in modern times it can be quite dramatic, here is a short video of a more modern ship, the Europa, in the Drake Passage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08EeAvMUCe0&t=3s

On 13 January 1833, HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain Robert Fitzroy was laid flat sixty miles WSW of Cape Horn. On board was Charles Darwin. Fitzroy, in his journal wrote, "I was anxiously watching the successive waves, when three huge rollers approached, whose size and steepness at once told me that our sea-boat, as good as she was, would be sorely tried. Having steerage way, the vessel met and rose over the first unharmed, but of course, her way was checked; the second deadened her way completely, throwing her off the wind; and the third great sea, taking her right abeam, turned her so far over, that all the lee bulwarks, from cat-head to the stern davit, was two or three feet under water.

For a moment, our position was critical; but like a cask, she rolled back again, though with some feet of water over the whole deck. Had another sea struck her, the little ship might have numbered among the many of her class which have disappeared....."


Had that happened, Darwin would not have written On the Origin of Species and Fitzroy would not have become 'the father' of Britain's Met Office.

It was a near run thing!
That reminds me, the book 'This Thing of Darkness' by Harry Thomson is an excellent read. Its a semi-fictional account of the voyage of the Beagle, written more from the perspective of Fitzroy.
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Old 16th May 2020, 15:46
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​​​​​​ Another good book is The Good Shepherd by C S Forester. A Battle of the Atlantic story which is being made into a film due for release this year starring Tom Hanks, although it will be delayed due to Corinavirus.
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Old 16th May 2020, 18:49
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If boat adventures are your speciality then get hold of a copy of the following; I've read it three times, each time marvelling at the intrepidity of the author:

"The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow" A.J. MacKinnon, Seafarer Books, ISBN 0 95381 805 2. 12. 95

This is a truly magical account of a journey by sea, canal and river across the breadth of Europe. Starting at Ellesmere in Cheshire and finishing at the Black Sea. All of it in a ten foot Mirror class ply dinghy. and solo of course - no room for crew !

This book captures all the superlatives. A teacher at Ellesmere College takes extended leave, is attacked by an idea and ultimately writes this book.
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Old 16th May 2020, 20:03
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Iron Coffins by Herbert A Werner.
A well written autobio by a U Boat captain,it would be fair to say that Werner was not always impressed with the Patrol Orders and tactics from HQ (BdU).
I was actually given this book many years ago,it sat on my bookshelf for many years as the cover looked really depressing,the cover was actually from a painting which showed how dreary and miserable it could be in the N Atlantic,anyway I found it an unputdownable book which I have read at least 10 times.




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Old 16th May 2020, 20:06
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tow1709 View Post
Re Coronel and the Falklands as mentioned by Union Jack above. There is an excellent book of the same name by Geoffrey Bennett, who also wrote one about Jutland.
Captain John Luce who commanded HMS Glasgow at Coronel and the Falklands was the great grandfather of comedian Miranda Hart.
And Miranda's father commanded HMS Coventry during the Falklands unpleasantness.

I second stevef's choice of Two Years Before the Mast. Dana was a Harvard student but signed on as an ordinary seaman in the 1830s; he kept a diary of his adventures. I still have it on my shelf after probably 35 years.
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Old 16th May 2020, 20:58
  #46 (permalink)  
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Sink the Bismarck

Operation Pedastal
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Old 17th May 2020, 10:36
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Wake of the Red Witch (1948)
John Wayne,Gig Young,Gail Russel.
A bit of a typical movie ultra unlikely storyline but it does have a couple of nice Tallish Ship and Schooner scenes.
The first part of the film depicts Wayne (Capt Ralls) as the ruthless captain of the Red Witch , Batjak's flagship. For reasons not entirely clear, Ralls deliberately wrecks and sinks the Red Witch and its cargo of gold bullion worth five million dollars. He is cleared at the subsequent trial when Batjak (the shipping company) unexpectedly withdraws its complaint ( Waynes movie company was later named Batjac) .
After the trial Ralls goes fishing in a small schooner and eventually ends up in a dangerous salvage attempt on the Red Witch.
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Old 17th May 2020, 12:19
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Falklands War Films.

Considering the number of films set during WW2, Is it surprising that their aren't many set during the Falklands conflict?
I can think of one or two TV movies (Tumbledown) but thats about it. Is it too soon?

Last edited by TURIN; 17th May 2020 at 12:23. Reason: Added Tumbledown as I had to google it.
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Old 17th May 2020, 14:42
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Considering the number of films set during WW2, Is it surprising that their aren't many set during the Falklands conflict?
I can think of one or two TV movies (Tumbledown) but thats about it. Is it too soon?
Too soon? We've got TV series about Afghanistan on the BBC.
The best book of a film yet to be made is Vulcan 607. It reads like a film script. Great one-liners (Russian Naval Attache in New York, or request for a tanker to Ascension - and another one every week!) Imagine the cameo scenes as the fitters strip museum exhibits of their refuelling probes and grab a key component being used as an ashtray. Why no-one has made this is beyond me.
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Old 17th May 2020, 14:53
  #50 (permalink)  
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'THE NAVY'S HERE!': THE ALTMARK AFFAIR. Hardcover 1 Jan. 1955


And Hammonfu Innes, The Wreck of the Mary Deare
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Old 18th May 2020, 10:07
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Considering the number of films set during WW2, Is it surprising that their aren't many set during the Falklands conflict?
I can think of one or two TV movies (Tumbledown) but thats about it. Is it too soon?
The Falklands affair has little to no appeal for American audiences. It wouldn't have any American Rambos altho' we could probably manufacture a few !
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Old 18th May 2020, 19:47
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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"The Ministry of Defence does not comment upon submarine operations' is the standard response of officialdom to enquiries about the most secretive and mysterious of Britain's armed forces, the Royal Navy Submarine Service. Written with unprecedented co-operation from the Service itself and privileged access to documents and personnel, The Silent Deep is the first authoritative history of the Submarine Service from the end of the Second World War to the present. It gives the most complete account yet published of the development of Britain's submarine fleet, its capabilities, its weapons, its infrastructure, its operations and above all - from the testimony of many submariners and the first-hand witness of the authors - what life is like on board for the denizens of the silent deep.

Dramatic episodes are revealed for the first time: how HMS Warspite gathered intelligence against the Soviet Navy's latest ballistic-missile-carrying submarine in the late 1960s; how HMS Sovereign made what is probably the longest-ever trail of a Soviet (or Russian) submarine in 1978; how HMS Trafalgar followed an exceptionally quiet Soviet 'Victor III', probably commanded by a Captain known as 'the Prince of Darkness', in 1986. It also includes the first full account of submarine activities during the Falklands War. But it was not all victories: confrontations with Soviet submarines led to collisions, and the extent of losses to UK and NATO submarine technology from Cold War spy scandals are also made more plain here than ever before.

In 1990 the Cold War ended - but not for the Submarine Service. Since June 1969, it has been the last line of national defence, with the awesome responsibility of carrying Britain's nuclear deterrent. The story from Polaris to Trident - and now 'Successor' - is a central theme of the book. In the year that it is published, Russian submarines have once again been detected off the UK's shores. As Britain comes to decide whether to renew its submarine-carried nuclear deterrent, The Silent Deep provides an essential historical perspective."
I have the H/B copy, over 800 pages if you count the index, and an excellent read. First published 2015.
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Old 19th May 2020, 09:17
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Chay Blyth "The Impossible Voyage". The story of his solo yacht journey around the world - against the prevailing winds and currents. Superb story.

ISBN 10: 0340149205 / ISBN 13: 9780340149201
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1971

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Old 19th May 2020, 09:21
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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And of course, the original


Joshua Slocum. Sailing Alone Around The world

(I have just seen it's on Youtube as a full 7 hour audiobook - not especially well read, but a wonderful story nevertheless)
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Old 19th May 2020, 19:05
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Slightly off piste maybe - but may I recommend this particularly good documentary and re-enactment of Shackleton's expedition? Great emphasis is placed (correctly in my view) on Frank Worsley' great navigation achievement in reaching South Georgia.

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Old 19th May 2020, 20:00
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
Slightly off piste maybe - but may I recommend this particularly good documentary and re-enactment of Shackleton's expedition? Great emphasis is placed (correctly in my view) on Frank Worsley' great navigation achievement in reaching South Georgia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovFT7ji-D2c
What an epic journey this was ! A feat of seamanship and navigation almost unsurpassed. Perhaps matched by Bligh's open boat voyage on the occasion of the Bounty mutiny. The weather tho' made a huge difference.
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Old 20th May 2020, 03:21
  #57 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
Slightly off piste maybe - but may I recommend this particularly good documentary and re-enactment of Shackleton's expedition? Great emphasis is placed (correctly in my view) on Frank Worsley' great navigation achievement in reaching South Georgia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovFT7ji-D2c
Definitely not off piste Bergerie. Although, like most here, I have read of the Shackleton expedition, this was an outstanding documentary.

Truly one of the most remarkable feats of human endurance ever. Worsley well deserves a spot in the Pantheon of greats.
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Old 20th May 2020, 09:04
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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On a slightly different tack - see what I did there? - try:

Seized by Max Hardberger.


Captain Hardberger is a really interesting guy, who at one time specialised in recovering ships that had been seized by disreputable repair yards. After the scheduled repairs, these yards hold the ships on some trumped up reason, such as more work needing doing before a sea-worthiness certificate can be issued. Captain Hardberger sneaks onto the ship with a skeleton crew, gets the main engine going and steams the ship out to international waters.


It is a very good and interesting read, with hints of James Bond and Andy McNab, but without any violence.
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Old 20th May 2020, 10:47
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
Considering the number of films set during WW2, Is it surprising that their aren't many set during the Falklands conflict?
I can think of one or two TV movies (Tumbledown) but thats about it. Is it too soon?
Sea of Fire was a TV film made about the sinking of HMS Coventry.
Another film 'Destroyer' was in the pipeline based upon David Hart-Dyke's book of the events - Four Weeks in May. Not sure what happened to that.
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Old 20th May 2020, 14:16
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Bergerie1 and Wingnuts, thank you for the film recommendation, that was an amazing film and great commentary.
Being a learner sailer, I am thinking twice about my previous desire to sail into the Southern Ocean although I really want to get to New Zealand.

Re Falklands films - 'An Ungentlemanly Act' is a fantastic film, some very funny dark moments in it too.
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