Category Archives: Great War service

AQUITANIA: Limited stock
Paperback version

aqui-1-cover002Clearing out the warehouse to make room for new stock, we found two boxes of mint copies of this book from 1997! Rarely available even from second-hand bookshops, this is a chance for you to acquire your own copy at less than the original cover price.

This is a paperback book covering the design, construction and service of Cunard’s four-funnelled express liner Aquitania. Published in 1997, this is smaller than our newer offering but still very detailed book about this beautiful liner. In 72 packed pages, every facet of the liner’s construction and service are covered.

Her first three commercial North Atlantic crossings in 1914 were a triumph. Then Aquitania proudly gave four years of service to her country, as an armed merchant cruiser, then a troopship and a hospital ship.

Aquitania’s peacetime service

Aquitania resumed her peacetime service and quickly became popular. Although she never fought for the Blue Riband, she was still one of the fastest liners on the route. Increasing US immigration restrictions, Prohibition, the Great D

World War II

With the advent of yet another war, she was soon requisitioned as a troopship, giving six years of hard work around the world.

Her last few years were spent  repatriating American and Canadian troops, German prisoners of war and war brides, before taking emigrants to their new lives in a new world. She was finally scrapped in 1950.

72 pages. £10.00 plus shipping



 

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WHITE STAR LINE:
The Company & The Ships

Cover for White Star Line bookThe origins of White Star Line can be traced back to 1846. T.H. Ismay bought the company in 1868, registering it as Oceanic Steam Navigation, trading as White Star. He forged agreements with Harland & Wolff in Belfast to build his ships, which quickly gained a reputation for speed, comfort and reliability. The company grew and prospered, building ever bigger and better ships.

After T.H. Ismay died, his son, J. Bruce Ismay, took over. In 1902 the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan bought the company as part of the IMM combine, and Ismay became President and Chairman.

American owners, economic pressures

World economics turned against the company, with slumps, depressions, the loss of Titanic, the Great War and reduced US immigration quotas. By the late 1920s White Star was on the point of collapse, and in 1934, under pressure from the UK government, it was forced to merge with Cunard, also in financial difficulties.

Development, growth and decline

This book looks at the development, growth and decline of one of the most famous shipping lines in history. It looks at the highlights, successes, mishaps and tragedies.

It covers the careers of all the ships, owned and chartered, with photographs of most, along with illustrations of advertisements, menus and other ephemera. It is a complete company history.

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250 pages with hundreds of photographs. £48.00 plus shipping




 

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SHIPS OF THE BRITISH MERCHANT NAVY: 1932

Cover for Ships of the British Merchant NavyIn the years between the two world wars, vessels flying the Red Duster were pre-eminent around the world, with thousands of seamen, hundreds of ships and dozens of companies carrying passengers and cargo. This was the heyday of the British Merchant Navy.

In 1932, noted maritime author E.C. Talbot-Booth attempted to record the principal ships and companies in his now-famous book, Ships of the British Merchant NavyThis work examines his original selection and traces each vessel’s subsequent career, as far as has been possible.

Research and Results

After years of painstaking research and hours spent pouring through libraries and on the Internet, all but a handful of ships mentioned in the original work were tracked down. Some were scrapped or lost before World War II. Others were lost during the war. More survived, along with their crews. All but a few are detailed in this volume.

Copiously illustrated with photographs of many of the ships plus items of contemporary ephemera, this book is a compendium of information for the maritime historian.

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188 pages with 800 photographs. £38.00 plus shipping




 

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MAJESTIC:
White Star’s largest liner

Cover for Majestic bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of White Star Line’s express liner Majestic.

Built by Blohm & Voss for Hamburg America, Bismarck was to have been the third of Albert Ballin’s planned trio of super liners, designed to dominate the North Atlantic .

Although launched, sadly the tragic outbreak of the Great War in August 1914 interrupted her completion, and throughout the war she lay at her builders, only half-built.

Reparations then to White Star Line as Majestic

Following the Armistice, the still-incomplete liner was ceded to White Star as reparations, and was completed by the builders. Once finished, she was renamed Majestic, and finally entered the prestigious trans-Atlantic service to New York, although she never competed for the Blue Riband.

Popular for a number of years, she generally enjoyed good passenger numbers. However, the quotas imposed on immigrants by the US authorities, coupled with Prohibition and the Great Depression, impacted on her success. Her grand interiors and immense size were redolent of an era that had passed.

With the merger of Cunard and White Star in 1934, the combined fleet was rapidly culled to effect the necessary economies to enable the new company to survive, and in 1936 it was announced that she was to be scrapped.

Conversion to HMS Caledonia

At the last minute she was sold to the British Admiralty and extensively converted into a training establishment for young seamen and artificers, as HMS Caledonia. Moored at Rosyth, she caught fire soon after the declaration of World War II and was gutted.

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206 pages plus three A3 throw-out deck plans. £42.00 plus shipping




 

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LEVIATHAN:
America’s first superliner

Cover for Leviathan bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of America’s first superliner, Leviathan.

Built by Blohm & Voss for Hamburg America’s service to the United States, Vaterland was the second in Albert Ballin’s planned trio of liners that he intended would dominate passenger services on the North Atlantic.

Unfortunately after only seven trans-Atlantic crossings, the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 destroyed his plan.

The Great War

Trapped in New York, Vaterland was interned by the US authorities until April 1917 when, with the entry of America into the war she was seized, renamed Leviathan, and converted into a troopship. With the Armistice, she was used to repatriate GI troops until she was laid up at Hoboken.

Post-war service as Leviathan

Eventually, completely rebuilt, in 1923 she emerged as a luxury liner sailing under American colours for United States Lines. Although she often enjoyed high passenger numbers, the effects of Prohibition and immigration quotas, alongside numbing levels of Government bureaucracy, excessive levels of catering and a high crew-to-passenger ratio, meant that for much of her life she made losses. Laid up several times, she was eventually scrapped in 1938.

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262 pages. £48.00 plus shipping




 

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LEGENDARY LINERS:
1881–1969

Cover for Legendary Liners bookThis book represents an eclectic choice – the author’s personal favourite historic, legendary liners. The hardest part was in deciding which liners to leave out!

There have been so many famous  liners since the late Victorian era. The development of reliable, economical engines and the inclusion of a second propeller meant that liners no longer needed to be equipped with sails and associated rigging.

Interiors became ever more luxurious, menus were more inventive, safety increasingly important. Hulls became ever larger, decks more numerous. More dining rooms were added, plus cafés, gymnasiums, winter gardens, swimming pools, libraries and many other facilities designed to help passengers make the best use of their time aboard.

Final selection of Legendary Liners

Ships have been chosen from many of the companies operating around the world. The result is this fascinating page-by-page account of the most famous liners from nearly 100 years of maritime history.

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162 pages. £38.00 plus shipping




 

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GERMAN GREYHOUNDS:
Four-Funnelled Legends

Cover for German Greyhounds bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of the five German four-funnelled liners. These were known as the German Greyhounds: Kaiser Wilhelm der GrosseDeutschlandKronprinz WilhelmKaiser Wilhelm II and Kroprinzessin Cecilie.

The shipping line which held the Blue Riband speed record for the North Atlantic carried the most passengers – and made the most money. European aristocracy and the American élite wanted to be seen on the best, while emigrants wanted to travel on the largest and the safest.

Germany’s Blue Riband pinnacle

By the late 1880s the two main German companies, Hamburg-America and Norddeutscher Lloyd, had begun looking for ways to make a serious challenge on the lucrative North Atlantic trade. The rivalry between the two companies encouraged both to build ever larger and faster express liners.

German Greyhounds

The competition culminated in the five greyhounds – four-funnelled express liners that were to tear across the Atlantic in a blaze of smoke, steam and glory. This book covers these five famous liners as together they brought German shipping to the forefront of maritime technology and shipping history.

The book then follows each liner through the events of the Great War, service as troopships, reparations and their eventual demise.

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174 pages. £38.00 plus shipping




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THE CANADIAN EMPRESSES: 1889–1939

Cover for Canadian Pacific Empresses Volume 1A group of prominent wealthy Canadian businessmen met in 1880. They realised that for Canada to not only survive but expand, a railway system had to be devised and developed to cover the country, from coast to coast.

They then decided to take this a stage further, planning a world-wide transport system. This would help encourage emigrants to Canada. People could travel on CPR liners from Europe and then across the country on CPR trains. Over the following century these ideas were developed and extended, incorporating trains, passenger ships, cargo ships, hotels and, eventually, aircraft.

Development of the Canadian Empresses

Pre-eminent in this history were the Atlantic and Pacific Empresses. These were ships with the highest levels of reliability and comfort, offering the safest standards of travel. They laid the foundations for the profitability of the company.

Early chronology

This first volume details the chronology of the Canadian Empresses from their early days through to the outbreak of World War II. As well as detailed text, there are hundreds of photos. Dozens of brochures and items of ephemera are reproduced, bringing the liners to life once more.

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184 pages. £38.00 plus shipping




 

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BERENGARIA:
Cunard’s Happy Ship

Cover for Berengaria bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of Cunard’s popular express liner Berengaria.

Hamburg-America’s Albert Ballin dreamed of building a trio of liners to dominate the North Atlantic. Launched in May 1912 at Blohm & Voss, Imperator was completed in April 1913. An enormous eagle was mounted on the bow to ensure that she would be longer than Cunard’s Aquitania! On her trials she had problems with her turbines and her stability and emergency work was needed before she could enter service. During her first refit in early 1914 some of the top weight was taken out to try to improve stability, and internal changes were made.

The Great War

Imperator was laid up in Hamburg in August 1914, and in April 1919 was handed over to the Americans. She was used by them, named USS Imperator, as a troopship, before being laid up in New York. Transferred to Britain as part of the war reparations in November 1921, she was allocated to Cunard.

Cunard’s Berengaria

The first commercial voyage for Cunard, as RMS Imperator, was in February 1920. She was renamed Berengaria in February 1921, after being converted to oil burning.  Although never fast enough to compete for the Blue Riband, she was always popular on the North Atlantic service. Regularly enjoying high passenger numbers, she was successful for a number of years. After a series of fires in 1938 she was laid up, and eventually was scrapped in November 1938.

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196 pages plus three A3 throw-out deck plans. £38.00 plus shipping




 

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AQUITANIA:
Cunard’s Greatest Dream

aqui-coverA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of Cunard’s four-funnelled express liner Aquitania.

There were only ever fourteen four-funnel express liners in mari­time history. Some of these were short-lived, some went in a blaze of publicity, others worked long and hard for their owners. One of the most enduring and endearing of these was Aquitania. Her first three commercial North Atlantic crossings in 1914 were a triumph. Then the dark clouds of war descended and life changed.

The Great War

Aquitania proudly gave four years of service to her country, first as an armed merchant cruiser, then as a troopship and finally as a hospital ship.

Aquitania’s peacetime service

Once the hostilities were over, Aquitania resumed her peacetime service and quickly became popular with all classes of travellers. Although she never fought for the Blue Riband, she was still one of the fastest liners on the route. Increasing US immigration restrictions, Prohibition, the Great Depression: all flowed over her as she plowed a steady, profitable furrow across the Atlantic. Short and long cruises were incorporated into her schedules without pausing.

World War II

With the advent of yet another war, she was soon requisitioned as a troopship, giving six years of hard work around the world.

Peacetime again

Her last few years after World War Two were  repatriating American and Canadian troops, German prisoners of war and war brides, before carrying emigrants to their new lives in a new world. She was finally scrapped in 1950, the last of her type, a true historic liner.

Aquitaine title pageAquitania constructionAquitania interiorsaqui-64aqui-128aqui-145aqui-154

162 pages plus three A3 throw-out deck plans.
£38.00
plus shipping




 

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