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Ben Line / Graeme Somner. A definitive history and fleet list of the Ben Line founded in 1839 by brothers William and Alexander Thomson. Originally carrying coal and textiles from Leith to Italy and marble on the return journey, the brothers moved into carrying coal to Canada and timber on the return journey and this regular trade route quickly became the basis of their business for many years. The business was registered as William Thomson and Co. This history covers the company's move from sail to steam, and the expansion of the company's trade routes to include the Far East and Baltic, and the practice of naming its vessels after Scottish mountains. By the 1970s, the company was expanding into ship management, bulk carriers and offshore drilling and by 1977 owned four container ships, 13 cargo liners, three chemical tankers, one bulk carrier and five rigs and drill ships. Facing increased competition from containerisation and the decline in bulk trade the container ships were sold off by 1993, the cargo liners broken up or sold by 1982, and the bulk carriers and tankers sold by 1989. The rigs and drill ships were sold in the early 1990s. Ben Line Steamers Ltd and many of the subsidiaries were wound up in 2002. The Ben Line name continues in Asia as Ben Line Shipping Agencies Ltd. The fleet lists are organised chronologically and cover ships owned or managed by William Thomson and Co, Ben Line Steamers Ltd, Ben Line Ship Management Ltd (1973-1987) and Benmarine Ltd (1987-1993), vessels owned by W A C Thomson and rigs and drill ships. The book is also indexed by vessel name and is illustrated throughout with photographs. 2009. • FOLIO • 2 copies available. 347.792BEN
Churchill and Fisher : titans at the Admiralty /Barry Gough. "A vivid study in the politics and stress of high command, this book describes the decisive roles of young Winston Churchill as political head of the Admiralty and the ageing Admiral 'Jacky'Fisher as professional master and creator of Dreadnought, locked together in perilous destiny. Upon these Titans at the Admiralty rested Allied command of the sea at the moment of its supreme test, the challenge presented by the Kaiser's navy under the dangerous Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. Churchill and Fisher exhibited vision, genius, and energy, but the war unfolded in unexpected ways. German cruisers escaped to Constantinople bringing Turkey into the war, and though Coronel's disaster was redeemed at the Falklands, Jellicoe's Grand Fleet was forced to seek refuge from U-boats; the torpedo and mine became prominent, to German advantage. There were no Trafalgars, no Nelsons. Press and Parliament became battlegrounds for a public expecting decisive victory at sea. Then the ill-fated Dardanelles adventure, 'by ships alone' as Churchill determined, on top of the Zeppelin raids brought about Fisher's departure from the Admiralty, in turn bringing down Churchill. Wilderness years followed, with Churchill commanding a battalion on the Western Front and Fisher chairing an inventions board seeking an electronic countermeasure to the lethal U-boat. This dual biography, based on fresh and thorough appraisal of the Churchill and Fisher papers, is a story for the ages. It is about Churchill's and Fisher's war & how each fought it, how they waged it together, and how they fought against each other, face to face or behind the scenes. It reveals a strange and unique pairing of sea lords who found themselves facing Armageddon and seeking to maintain the primacy of the Royal Navy, the guardian of trade, the succour of the British peoples, and the shield of Empire."--Provided by the publisher. 2017. • BOOK • 1 copy available. 92CHURCHILL