- Hinchliffe, L.M.
- Ship histories and stories, Book reviews
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Warramunga I
- June 1990 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
HMAS Warramunga’s History 1942-1959 by Sam Whyte
HMAS Warramunga’s History 1942-1959 is exactly that. For anyone who served in her at any time during her life, I’m certain he will have flooding memories because it is so detailed. I was amused that Sam Whyte, being a Supply Rating, solemnly recorded item by item what stores were lost on various occasions, but he failed to record who paid for them! (Such was the RAN’s system that even in wartime an auditor was working in ships in New Guinea waters and as a result the Auditor General did throw a few words of praise to the naval storekeepers.) What a war!!
One can imagine the delight of the children brought up in a POW camp, when confronted with cutlery and plates of bread and butter. The story of gathering the POWs round Japan is well recorded and I feel amply illustrates what every civilian POW had to endure, especially with ‘spies’ in the camp. No doubt there always were and always will be, but it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth that some ‘crawlers’ existed in Japanese POW camps.
What was disturbing is the way in which her shell plating deteriorated. Except for ‘wind and water’ one never expects erosion elsewhere. It reflects adversely on the quality of the steel used in construction.
This book has been very painstakingly put together and will serve as a source of information on how our destroyers worked in the Pacific in W WII and Korea, for anyone who wishes to research the ‘social’ as well as the operational history of the time.
The Royal Navy required a counter to the large foreign designs of destroyer and the Tribals had a great name when they first appeared, and fought some glamorous actions, but they were not in fact as seaworthy as the later classes of destroyers and were often being ‘sewn together’. It is perhaps lucky for the RAN that only three were built.
In all, 16 RN, 3 RAN and 8 RCN Tribals were built, wartime losses being 12, nil and one respectively.
This book is well worthy of a place on your bookshelf and a welcome addition to Australian Naval Historical recordings.