RN and RM Reading list

Although its a reference work rather than a memoir, I can't recommend The British Battleship by Norman Friedman enough.
 
'Escort' by D A Raynier. Excellent book if You can get a copy. He was RNVR pre war. Got a gunnery course on Whale Island, which was apparently quiet rare for an RNVR. Rose to command on Atlantic,East Coast and Channel convoys.
 
The Silent Deep: The Royal Navy Submarine Service Since 1945 by J Jinks and P Hennessey is pretty good. It has authorised support from the Submarine Service and MoD too.
 

Yokel

LE
One recent book I would suggest is Black Box Thinking - by Matthew Syed.

The book gives lots of examples of all sorts of things, from medical errors to air crashes, and how lessons can be learnt. The book has a number of themes. Firstly that success and improvement are built on failure, but this requires the ability to identify and act on lessons from failures, secondly that ego prevents people from seeing mistakes as such, therefore the opportunity to learn is lost, thirdly that trial and error is faster and more accurate then top down thinking, but that means intellectual rigour. Fourthly, large tasks can be improved by paying attention to small details, and making marginal improvements and low level, fifthly the blame game satisfies the need to evade responsibility, but it is harmful to everyone, and finally he argues that a growth culture demands a positive attitude to errors as learning opportunities.

Ideal reading and a source of inspiration for any interested in improving performance - it does make you stop and think.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
WW2 FAA from Seaweed's bookcase:
‘Carrier Glorious’ (1917-1940) John Winton

‘Illustrious’ (1938-1945) Kenneth Poolman (1955)

‘Find, Fix and Strike!’ (1939-45) John Winton

‘Wings of the Morning’ (1939-45) Ian Cameron

‘Carrier Observer’ (1939-46) Gordon Wallace

‘Stringbags in Action’ (Taranto & the Bismarck Chase) Vice Admiral BB Scofield

‘War in a Stringbag’ Charles Lamb

‘Sea Flight’ (1940-5) Hugh Popham (1954)

‘Carrier Pilot’ (1940-5) Norman Hanson (1979)

‘Wings on My Sleeve’ (1940-1960) Eric (Winkle) Brown

‘They Gave Me a Seafire’ (1940-6) Mike Crosley DSC*

and one I read ages ago but don't have a copy of:
'Bring Back my Stringbag' John Godley (Lord Kilbracken)
 

Yokel

LE
WW2 FAA from Seaweed's bookcase:
‘Carrier Glorious’ (1917-1940) John Winton

‘Illustrious’ (1938-1945) Kenneth Poolman (1955)

‘Find, Fix and Strike!’ (1939-45) John Winton

‘Wings of the Morning’ (1939-45) Ian Cameron

‘Carrier Observer’ (1939-46) Gordon Wallace

‘Stringbags in Action’ (Taranto & the Bismarck Chase) Vice Admiral BB Scofield

‘War in a Stringbag’ Charles Lamb

‘Sea Flight’ (1940-5) Hugh Popham (1954)

‘Carrier Pilot’ (1940-5) Norman Hanson (1979)

‘Wings on My Sleeve’ (1940-1960) Eric (Winkle) Brown

‘They Gave Me a Seafire’ (1940-6) Mike Crosley DSC*

and one I read ages ago but don't have a copy of:
'Bring Back my Stringbag' John Godley (Lord Kilbracken)
Awesome.
 

Seadog

ADC
http://www.naval-review.com/

Recently celebrated its centenary, Membership mostly for Officers and Academics but not confined to such. MOD permission is not required to publish in the closed shop. Articles/essays/papers over 10 years old are released to the public domain on the website.

The editor was the RN 1* at JSCSC in 2009
 

Seadog

ADC
Bump for a Christmas RN Reading List compiled by Historian Dr Phil Weir
Christmas RN reading list? I have a vision of an elderly bachelor Retired Officer, sitting in a big armchair, whisky, dressed in dark lounge suit, blue stripy shirt, blue tie, big painting of Trafalgar 1805 above the fire place, bookcase toppers with naval and military books (nothing by Sharky) excitedly opening a parcel from Santa.............a copy of Oddessy of a U Boot Commander by Erich Topp

Rocking horse sheiss apparently.
 
Unscathed, by Major Phil Ashby RM. About his escape from rebels in Sierra Leone.

Commando, by Hugh McManners. The accompanying book to the TV series of the same name, about Royal Marine recruits and All Arms Commando Course working to get their Green Lids.

The Making Of A Royal Marine Commando by Nigel Foster. A good insight into the Corps, with chapters about recruit and officer training, SBS, Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre.

Commando, by Chris Terrill. In the same vein as Hugh McManners's book mentioned above, but written about 10 years later. Terrill was not an ex-Marine, or even ex-military, but he went on to do the Commando Course events, and got an honorary Green Lid.

First Into Action, by Duncan Falconer. Went SBS straight after recruit training at Lympstone, without first serving in a regular Commando unit.

Amongst The Marines, by Steven Preece. This is more to do with the barrack room culture in the Royal Marines.
I read but didn't like Preece's book. Agree with all the others. I'd add "Very Ordinary Seaman" by JPW Mallalieu, an autobiographical novel about the training & action of a destroyer crew in WW2. Mallalieu was called up as an RN rating & then selected as a potential officer.
 
Anthony Hichens: Gunboat Commander.
"This biography draws heavily on the personal diaries of the subject, Robert Hichens (or 'Hitch' as he was universally known). After a brief description of his early life, time at Oxford, his motor racing achievements (including trophies at Le Mans in his Aston Martin) and RN training, the book focuses on his exceptional wartime experiences. Hitch was the most highly decorated RNVR officer of the war with two DSOs, three DSCs and three Mentions in Despatches. He was recommended for a posthumous VC. We read of his early days in vulnerable minesweepers and the Dunkirk 'Dynamo' operation, (his first DSC). In late 1940 he joined Coastal Forces serving in the very fast MGBs, soon earning his own command and shortly after command of his Flotilla. He was the first to capture an E-Boat. His successful leadership led to many more successes and his reputation as a fearless and dynamic leader remains a legend today. The book contains detailed and graphic accounts of running battles against the more heavily armed E-boats. Tragically he was killed in action in April 1943, having refused promotion and a job ashore."
ISBN: 1844156566
Falmouth Sea Cadet Corps is named T. S. Robert Hichens.
 
Mike Lunnon Wood " King's Shilling",
"Jackspeak",
"A Sense of Honor" James Webb - Annapolis in the midst of Vietnam. Brilliant book. Webb was the most highly decorated marine of the Vietnam War. He became a US senator & Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration.
"Aircraft Carrier" John Winton. FAA in the Pacific
 

Seadog

ADC
Falmouth Sea Cadet Corps is named T. S. Robert Hichens.
His bio/memoirs was on the precourse reading list for ICSC(M) at one time. Read and digested. 'Hitch' was an outstanding civilian (RNVR) naval officer, the right stuff.

Even in wartime, homage to process
trumped promptly adding combat power and suvivability. Bad process frustrates good people and good ideas, 'twas ever thus. but Hitch had a sympathetic Commander and stuff got done.
 

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