Title: Australian and New Zealand Warships 1914-1945 Author: Ross Gillett
This book is published by Doubleday Australia with a suggested retail price of $35.00. It is the latest published book by Ross who is becoming a real prolific author and authority on Australian and our near neighbours’ naval history.
It is a large book that is lavishly illustrated with over 600 photos and 100 line drawings in its 360 pages that covers the infancy period of both the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy – the R.A.N. during the First World War and the R.N.Z.N. during the Second World War. The book covers more than the name implies as it ranges from the Battlecruiser H.M.A.S. Australia of the R.A.N. to workboats of the R.A.A.F.
A combination of the high quality gloss paper of the book together with the many previously unpublished quality photographs which the author has managed to amass combined with an easy to read chronology of data makes it a book that is a pleasure to read and study. With a book of this size and due to the large number of photographs there are some errors in captions and information – examples being “SHROPSHIRE” misidentified as “AUSTRALIA”; the photo on the back cover clearly shows ASR919 and not 917 as captioned – that would have to be a typesetting error and I clearly remember seeing H.M.A.S. “SWAN” (II) streaming its Paying-off Pennant in Hervey Bay in August 1962. These are minor complaints on an otherwise very well put together book by Ross Gillett who is currently a Vice President of The Naval Historical Society of Australia.
The book is moderately priced and at $35 I consider it excellent value and is highly recommended to every one, be you a serious student of our Naval heritage or for those who are not so serious it is a book that can be picked up and easily read, and finally for the younger people of our country it is a truly enlightening book that divulges our Naval history during a turbulent period.