Flagships Three by C. E. W. Bean [Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean]
This is the scarce 1913 First Edition In 1910-1912 Bean represented the Sydney Morning Herald in London, living with his parents. He reported the building of the battle-cruiser Australia and the light cruisers Melbourne and Sydney. His book Flagships Three (London, 1913) incorporated these reports and much of his first book, With the Flagship in the South. Early in 1913 he returned to Sydney as a leader-writer.
  Front cover and spine Further images of this book are shown below
Publisher and place of publication   Dimensions in inches (to the nearest quarter-inch)
London: Alston Rivers Ltd   5½ inches wide x 8¾ inches tall
Edition   Length
1913 First Edition   [xvi] + 339 pages
Condition of covers    Internal condition
Original blue cloth gilt. The covers are scuffed and rubbed but still reasonably bright, though there is some variation in colour and a few old marks. The spine has darkened with age and there is evidence of old staining. The head of the spine is very heavily bumped and slightly frayed. The tail is less heavily bumped but also slightly frayed, as are the corners.   The inner hinges are cracked, with splits in the pastedown end-papers, but both hinges have been re-glued. There is a small "The Times Book Club" sticker on the rear pastedown. The end-papers are browned and discoloured. The tissue guard to the frontispiece is foxed and this has affected the Title-Page (please see the image below). The text is clean throughout on tanned paper. The edge of the text block is dust-stained and foxed.
Dust-jacket present?   Other comments
No   Showing signs of wear and with cracked but re-glued hinges though, overall, still a good example of the scarce First Edition.
Illustrations, maps, etc   Contents
There is a frontispiece and three other illustrations (all shown below)   Please see below for details
Post & shipping information   Payment options
The packed weight is approximately 800 grams. Full shipping/postage information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing.   Payment options :
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Full payment information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. 
Flagships Three Contents   Part I.— Foreword : A Dream 1. The First Flagship 2. The First Ship's Company   Part II.— The Second Flagship 1. Marryat-Land 2. "Evolutions" 3. The Bridge 4. A Man And His Work 5. The Ship's Heart 6. The Guns 7. The Wardroom 8. The Evolution Of Big Collar 9. No. 1001 10. "Long Distance" 11. The Lower Deck 12. The Sea-Training 13. The Test 14. The White Fleet 15. The End of The Cruise   Part III 1. The Dawn in the Pacific — and the Third Flagship 2. How Australia Found Her Way 3. The Price of Admiralty 4. The Model Tank 5. The Hull 6. The First Breath 7. The New Engine-Room 8. The Cadet Midshipman 9. The Man He Proves To Be 10. Australia's Charges 11. Norfolk Island Envoi
Flagships Three Foreword : A Dream   It was a fascinating dream. It was a dream of Sydney Harbour, all a hazy, mellow orange under the dying sun, with one long, even bar of grey-blue cloud — the sort of grey you could paint in faded ink stains against a salmon-coloured blotting-pad — along over the western hills; with a mighty Australian flagship, all one hazy grey, smoking her evening pipe lazily in the foreground, a dozen small tenders, pinnaces, gigs busying themselves about her waist, and the seven other grey hulls of the China Squadron in a dim line towards the Heads behind her. A great Admiral — one whose name goes for more in the courts of the world than a Prime Minister in the old time — has brought the Australian-China Fleet back for its yearly trip to the home harbours. In a day or two it will slip in the early morning down the long lane of water, with the band of the flagship playing and the colours flying, and out and out and hull down — a smudge of brown soot along the skyline. And the city will know that its brothers or cousins have gone with their ships a week or so to Wellington, and then back for ten months of deadly earnest around the Straits and Hong- kong and Wei-hai-wei. The destroyers of the fleet are just then in Singapore. The cruiser squadron, with the exception of one ship re-fitting in Port Stephens, and one left last week in Melbourne, has been signalled to join at Auckland. In 1908 the writer published a smaller book dealing with an earlier stage of that same long progress of events, which is the subject of this one. That book was published at a time when a British naval force was the only defence of Australia and the British dominions in the Pacific. And the words quoted above were the opening words of the last chapter in the book — the dream to which it all led up. They may well stand as the first words of the first chapter in this one. For the dream they describe is coming true, word by word, line by line, in such fashion as neither he who dreamed it nor anyone else could ever have hoped to behold. Within five years it has fallen to the writer to recast and extend the same story in order to add to it an already accomplished sequel. For this book recounts the birth of the latest of a very famous and ancient and heroic line of Navies — the coming of a first-born to the British Navy. Or if the United States Navy should be counted as the Royal Navy's first child, then it deals with the coming of the second child. It is with those two elders, and, of course, especially with the great mother navy, of which it really forms an outlying member, that the Royal Australian Navy will always be compared. The writer has used such opportunities as have come his way to obtain some insight into the three of them. Four years ago, when the earlier book on this subject was published, the building of an Australian Navy was by no means an accepted policy either in England or Australia ; and even the scheme for a mosquito fleet, as proposed by Mr Deakin (at a capital cost of £1,277,000 and a total annual cost for both Army and Navy of a little over £1,000,000) was looked on by many Australians as an absurd and impossible undertaking. Many of the chapters of that book are included in this volume ; but that last chapter on "The Flagship of the Future," which pointed out the inevitable coming of the Australian Fleet, is not included, because the necessity for it has passed away for ever. The writer there said: — "There is one argument settles the matter. It is a very simple argument; it begins in the future and works backward. Australians cannot assume they are going to be wiped out, even if they are. They are bound to assume that some day there will be 40,000,000 people in Australia; with, perhaps, half as many in New Zealand. Picture them in the year 2108. One cannot think of sixty million people in two great sea lands allowing about as many sea people on a little island in the North Sea to do all their fighting, or provide all the money or men, or ships. They must have a Navy by then. The question of when they had begun to have it is merely a question of time — of sooner or later, not of yes or no. "That simplifies matters. As to whether the Australian Navy could be all one with the British Navy — one Imperial Navy — simply depends upon whether, by that time, those who pay the money for the fleets have managed to agree on some plan for an Imperial Council, or even Admiralty, on which all those who pay are represented. Because it is older than Magna Charta that an Anglo-Saxon who pays taxes shall say how they are to be spent. If such an arrangement can be hammered out there may be one fleet and one service; perhaps one tax to pay for it. If it cannot, it is a pity ; but we shall have to do with a set of separate fleets, strongly allied, working together as best they can." The writer would not, of course, be so foolish as to pretend that his small work had anything to do with the coming of the Royal Australian Navy — unless it may have had some obscure and infinitesimal share in the spadework of popularising the idea. But he may perhaps for once be forgiven if he feels not a little satisfaction at having expressed views which have been so quickly and completely fulfilled. After describing the 8 great dream-battleships of the Australian Fleet, home from the China Seas, the chapter went on to point out that, to possess a fleet of the same size in proportion to her people as the British Fleet, Australia would need 5 battleships and 4 big cruisers — that is, 9 big armoured ships ; 8 smaller cruisers ; and some 34 torpedo craft. There would have to be dockyards, arsenals, stores, barracks. And the whole would cost nothing under £25,000,000 a year for a start, and over £4,000,000 every year to keep up. The writer, having thus summed up what he believed to be the facts, said: — " Now that is the cost of one's dream to-day ; and as the people grows, so will the cost. And having granted all that, all the expense, all the difficulty, one makes no apology for the conviction that Australia will need her own Navy in spite of it. The task is enormous, but England can manage it; and what England does one will not put beyond Australia." At that date the biggest scheme contemplated in Australia was Mr Deakin's proposal for a few destroyers and some submarines. Such a thing as even a single Dreadnought was not thought of. And what was written in that chapter, of course, had nothing whatever to do with changing this state of public opinion. But the same facts on which the writer formed his opinion had everything to do with it. Just a year after those chapters first appeared as articles in the Sydney Morn- ing Herald (by the courtesy of whose proprietors all these chapters are reprinted), the Naval Conference of 1909 decided that Australia should be advised to form her own fleet unit — including one large battle cruiser; and, eighteen months later still, Admiral Henderson, who was invited by the Australian Government to advise it, drew up the following scheme for the Australian fleet:— He said that it should consist of 8 battle cruisers; 10 smaller cruisers ; 18 destroyers and 12 submarines with 3 depdt ships for flotillas (making 30 — or perhaps 33 — "torpedo craft"); and a repair ship. There would have to be numerous naval ports, docks, stores, etc. The whole capital cost would be about £40,000,000; and the annual cost would rise from £3,000,000 to £5,000,000. That is now the accepted policy of Australians. Australia is already spending about £4,000,000 yearly on her Navy. An Australian flagship — not unlike her whose great armoured hull figured in the writer's dream in 1908 — is already on her way to the harbour in which that frontispiece pictured her. Her name is not the Warrego; but a Warrego does already figure in the Australian Fleet : it is the name of the first warship ever launched in Australia. There was one prophecy which has not been fulfilled and which does not yet seem to be accepted. It was opined that the Australian Fleet in the Pacific, when it came to business, would be found to need some advanced base considerably nearer to the scene of probable action than any port in Australasia — which is four thousand miles or so from the nearest probable rival. Although one seems to see many good reasons for this, it must be admitted that their force — if they have any — is not generally realised as yet. But that forecast may stand.
Flagships Three The Price of Admiralty   They did not build the Third Flagship in Australia. There were some who would like to have seen it done, but it was a sheer impossibility. Very wisely the Commonwealth Government decided to start its local shipbuilding in the only sound way which it could have adopted — by building small ships first, and working gradually up to big ones. They started by putting together a destroyer which had been already built in England. Now they have gone on to build three destroyers and a light cruiser in the Federal yard, which they took over from the New South Wales Government, at Sydney. They are going steadily on towards the building of bigger ships. They are laying the foundations of the industry with great care and patience ; and for that reason in this, as in other things, they will probably succeed. It has seemed to some a useless — an almost pitiably useless — enterprise to introduce into a young country this business of building great warships; and pitiable in a way it is. But no one, unless he keeps both eyes firmly shut, denies that the ships are necessary. And, that being unfortunately the case, it is worth while remembering that the building of big warships has always gone hand in hand with the building of merchant ships. In the great shipyard on the Clyde, where the Australian Government caused its flagship to be built, there was all the time, lying by the side of the Australia, the growing framework of another steamer, which made the great battle-cruiser look like a torpedo-boat. The stern of this other ship was on the water's edge beside that of the Australia ; but her brown steel frames could be seen running on for more than a hundred yards past the Australia's bows. It was the Cunard liner Aquitania, the biggest ship in the world. The exact details of her length had not then been published, because there was a German rival, the Imperator, at that time building, and either side would have been quite prepared to add on a few feet to the unfinished bows of their own ship, if they could have learned the length of the other. It was whispered at the time that the Aquitania would be 875 feet in length. They had shifted some railway lines and office buildings and a few other trifles to make room for her nose ; and the firm had given the Clyde River authorities £10,000 towards the widening of the channel, so as to make room for her when she should leave the Clyde. But this is to digress. The point is that the Australia was sandwiched in between merchant ships. In the basin just beside the Aquitania was what I took at first sight for a steam tender or excursion boat. She turned out to be a steamer of 13,000 tons to carry the Australian mails. Here was a liner of 12,000 tons owned in New Zealand. There were the engines of eighteen ships lying about the machinery shops and boiler shops of John Brown's: those of the Australia; those of three big New Zealand frozen-meat steamers; of the new Orient liner ; of the three biggest ships then in the world — the Olympic and the Titanic, and the still bigger Cunarder ; those of the new cruiser Queen Mary ; those of a new Aberdeen White Star liner ; of a yacht being built for an unknown millionaire on the same lines as the little floating palace lately finished for " Solly Joel " ; of two town-class cruisers ; and of five destroyers. So that the industry of building warships may not be so unreproductive as it seems. The steel industry of America partly owes its birth to it. And if it leads to the building of big merchant ships, there is no country more interested in them than is Australia. The size and importance of the Australian coasting trade, with great passenger liners, floating palaces of anything up to 10,000 tons, which never leave Australian waters, is quite unrealised outside of Australia. At the present moment four steamers of 8000 tons and one of over 9000 are said to be building for local Australian companies, apart altogether from mail steamers for oversea traffic. The building of a Dreadnought, though it will come in due time, if the Dreadnought type endures, means a vast undertaking. To begin with, it means work for a big town of workpeople to build the hull of one Dreadnought. A year or two back several of us, Australians and Canadians, went down to see the launch in East London of a Dreadnought slightly bigger than the Australia. It was something we had never seen ; but a big ship of some sort must be launched almost every day in Great Britain. Here in England, we told ourselves, the launch of a Dreadnought must be looked on as an everyday affair. As we got to the east of Stepney I found myself wondering whether there was not happening some celebration that we had not heard of. Perhaps they were unveiling a fountain to the local Mayor. At least a mile before we got to the place of the launch the streets were decorated with flags — even the meagre squeezed-in dwelling-houses had burst into whole strings of them. What business could the pale little tenants of single front rooms on the third floor have with battle- ships, that they should buy a Union Jack or a Royal Standard and hang it out of the window alongside of that invariable pot of moulting geranium ? There were heads at every window, clusters of people down all the streets. A whole district of London evidently looked on some event as the occasion for a half-holiday. One could hardly think East London was making such a festival out of the launch of a warship. But it was. Some three thousand men had been at work on her — practically all more or less skilled trades- men. That meant that £6000 a week had been paid in wages for months past — high, full-rate London wages paid into a very poor depressed district. Shops that had been closed had opened again. We saw coats, trousers, boots, and shirts of the sort that platers and riveters might buy, piled in the windows or on barrows outside the yard. They say in New South Wales that four or five old age pensioners will keep going a town west of the Darling River — and a good part of the East End actually depended for its prosperity on this ship — and they knew it. The moment she was launched a fair proportion of the hands had to be paid off and go and sit down and hope for another Dreadnought. That other Dreadnought never came ; and those shops are closed to-day. The trousers and boots and shirts hang over the pavement no longer. The shutters are up on the windows. The high rates and heavier wages of East London have put that particular yard out of the running in competition with other yards in the north of Britain where expenses are lower. Whether it is morally right or wrong, or in the end really in the interest of Great Britain and the Navy that this should happen, is a difficult question. It has been the life's tragedy of one man — the indomitable little paralysed cripple, who was the heart and soul of the Thames Iron- works, and who has fought defeat inch by inch, and may still possibly win — good luck to him ! That was what the mere building of the hull meant to the whole district of London which happened to surround the shipyard. But the work even on the hull was not finished with the launch. They took her to a jetty, some miles away down the low bleak banks of the Thames; and there she lay for months, with workmen busy about her all the time, and the local railway running a special time-table to the place to serve her needs alone. And this was for her hull only. Across the Thames, where the engines were building, another £2000 a week was being circulated. Even hull and engines are a mere part of the ship. The making of her guns is a tremendous industry in itself. The rolling of her armour plates is another ; the making of her pumps, the making of her motors and searchlights are separate industries. And that is how our own great ship, the battle-cruiser Australia, the newest flagship of all, grew up — in little bits all over the United Kingdom. Although she was built and engined in the yard of Messrs John Brown & Co., Clydebank, Glasgow, who were also building at the same time three destroyers and a cruiser, and about a dozen of the biggest liners as well, and the engines for eighteen powerful steamers, yet nothing like the whole of the cruiser was built there. The enormous solid steel stem, and stern-post, and rudders — all the huge angular castings that have to be moulded all in one piece — came half way across England from Thomas Firth & Co., of Sheffield. The cruiser's steel armour plates arrived from Armstrong's, at Newcastle, and partly from John Brown's own subsidiary works at Sheffield. Her frames — that is what the layman would call her ribs — and the thin plating that covers them on the bottom and sides and all the rest of the thin plating, were pouring in from the Steel Company of Scotland, on the other side of Glasgow, or from David Colville's. The gun mountings travelled up from Vickers, Sons, and Maxim. So did the guns really, but they had to go to the naval ordnance people first to be accepted, and it was from there that John Brown's received them. The main engines were made at John Brown's, but the motors, pumps, lights, and wireless were collected from Weir's, Crompton's, Siemens's, or other Admiralty firms all over the Kingdom. John Brown's rigged the ship, and they made the masts; but they bought the ropes. The place where the ship first really exists — from the great frowning outline of her down, not merely to the big gun turrets and turbines and bulkheads, but to the very telephone- wires that run from the fire-control plat- forms high up the masts to the guns all about the ship — the place where the ship is in actual truth built up bit by bit to completion before ever a single plate of her keel is laid or a rivet driven — is in the interior of a man's brain. The new flagship is 555 feet long, and she had about 7000 tons of steel worked into her even before she was launched, steel not in rectangles or straight lines, but writhing in all sorts of subtle curves. And yet one knew, with an absolute certainty, that if ever one should be privileged to walk, some day, on any of the decks of that finished ship one would find her turrets, her funnels, her superstructure, her frames, her bulkheads and partitions, her stem and her stern, and her engines to an inch where they were in some man's brain before ever the first plate for her was rolled or even ordered — or, more exactly, as they were in the brains of many men in the interior of that box of cooped-up knowledge and experiment in Whitehall which they call the Admiralty. For the actual design for that ship does not come from the builders; it issues from the Admiralty. Within those walls they have available all the experience of all the ships in the British Navy, and of a good many ships that are not in the British Navy. They know how the bulkhead on the Imperturbable was disturbed, or how the frames of the Unshakable were shaken ; they have full and explicit reports as to how the funnels of H.M.S. Impracticable covered the bridge with bad language and soot, and how the Improbable' 8 turret workings short-circuited; and how the frames of the Impossible liked it when the big guns were turned right across the deck and fired out over the other side of the ship ; and what the crew of the after- turret thought when those same guns nearly brought about the end of the world on being fired at a perfectly reasonable angle (theoretically speaking) over their heads. If there is anything — about guns, for example — which the men inside that particular building do not know, they can send out a battleship to some quiet corner of the Mediterranean, to test a device of Sir Percy Scott for laying and firing all her heavy guns at once, for example, and see what happens. Not long ago they sent one of their very latest Dreadnoughts — the Neptune, which cost £1,728,449 — to do that very thing. The device scarcely came up to expectations. So they went care- fully ahead with their experiments, and two years later tested the " director " system again ; ordered two exactly similar battleships to fire at the same time at two precisely similar targets. Some people said the " director " was a fair-weather device, so they ordered the trial to be made in rough weather. They fired, one ship using the old method and one the new, whilst the first Lord, and the inventor, and some other important people looked on. And this time the new method succeeded beyond belief. They have experimented with living warships in the dead of peace-time, and sent hundreds of men to the bottom in the Bay of Biscay in one incidental mistake. They have piled the fastest ship in the Navy in scrap- iron on a small Channel island because it was worth while sometimes to keep up the pretence of war in peace, and run full speed through a fog. If nothing else is doing, they can tow old battleships out to sea and fill the turrets with dummy men, and fire twelve-inch shells and eighteen-inch torpedoes at her ; they have done that to ships many times more valuable and modern than the old Victorian ironclad Cerberus — only the other day the battleship Hood, of 14,150, tons, was towed out to become a target. They were lately submerging submarines and exploding mines and torpedoes near them. If the sub- marine sinks they reckon it is better to know it sinks, empty, in peace, than to be surprised by its sinking, crew and all, in war. It is all in the day's work for the Royal Navy. Of course, they can only give to each ship those of the latest ideas that were complete enough to be practicable on the day when that design was settled. The very next month some experiment may change the whole state of their knowledge on some point — but the chances are the design cannot be altered to suit it. Ships have been altered on the stocks before now ; you can keep them hanging there for years — some Navies do. In the case of British ships it is rarely done. But there are occasions which warrant it. A couple of years ago, for example, after the un- armoured cruisers Melbourne and Sydney had been ordered by the Commonwealth in England, Senator Pearce, the Australian Minister for Defence, announced that they would each cost somewhat more than had been at first estimated. They had been planned to cost about £350,000 each, but the Admiralty now re- commended a rather stronger design, more suitable to the heavy work on the Australian coast. The alteration would mean an increase of about £100,000 on each ship, but was well worth it. Many months later, when these ships came to be launched, it transpired what the alteration was. They had been planned as " unarmoured " cruisers — or " protected " cruisers, which is more or less the same thing. But behold, each of them was built not only with a protective deck, but with a light armour belt. What had happened was apparently this : The Germans have a class of cruiser corresponding to these fast light cruisers of the British Navy. They call them " small " cruisers. These small cruisers had always been un- armoured, and, protected like the English ones, only by an armoured deck near the water-line to shelter the vitals of the ship from shells exploding above them. After the Melbourne and Sydney had been planned, however, news came to the Admiralty through one of those mysterious channels through which news does, from time to time, leak into Whitehall or Berlin, or Paris or Washington, or wherever there is a market for it, that the very latest of these small German cruisers was having armour put on to her sides. That would make her a very tough customer for any small British unarmoured cruiser to tackle. As it happened, it was not too late to change the plans of the Melbourne and Sydney, and the alteration was quietly made forthwith. But most ships have simply to stand or fall by the knowledge their designers possessed at the time when the country called for them. How many men, apart from the particular man in each case with whom the decision ultimately rests, realise that the mere responsibility of saying whether a new idea is sufficiently advanced to be used, can well be a matter to turn a man's hair grey, and keep him awake of nights? Again and again, where the Admiralty judged some invention worthy the risk, they have jumped into the dark, staked millions upon it. The old flagship, the Powerful, was one of the jumps. Some Frenchman had invented a boiler in which water, instead of being held in a heavy canister which took hours to thaw, ran in hundreds of little tubes and boiled in twenty minutes. The Admiralty tried them in two gunboats ; then, all in one jump, put them into its two precious cruisers, Powerful and Terrible. It was a big risk to take; for they were famous, mighty cruisers then, and all the Admiralties and Navy Boards of the world watched the experiment narrowly. An American officer told me of his excitement on the day he had first seen the Powerful. He was one of a hundred boys on a training-ship. They turned early one morning into Plymouth, and brought up underneath the towering black sides of what seemed to him, looking up, a monster of a ship. They all knew her by reputation, — with her new Belleville boilers, and portentous speed and size. He said that, boy-like, he prayed inwardly that he might some day come to command a ship like that. The two cost over £1,400,000. The Admiralty staked it on the water-tube boiler ; and won. Europe followed. Years later, when water-tube boilers were an old- established fact in all Navies, but when they still clung to the old reciprocating engines for all big ships — it fell to someone in England to make the decision that it was time to put turbine-engines in the Dreadnought. It may be nothing to the man in the street — and yet there might well come a day when a certain angry cloud had appeared on the horizon which threw the whole fate of England upon the boilers of a big cruiser whirring back with a report of it; or when something half seen in the night caused the lives of 800 men and more in one grey ship suddenly to hang upon the quick- ness with which her officers could put her astern or quicken her. England cannot rest on her oars, because she is the only country, with the possible exception of Australia, that can be killed outright on the high seas. The Admiralty has to seek new ideas, and at the same time it must exactly draw the line against hare-brained innovations. It must adopt every new thing the moment it becomes workable and not the moment before. As a matter of fact, in this matter of turbines the Admiralty showed the way to private shipowners, and they certainly led the other Navies ; indeed, in March 1911 there were already twelve big armoured ships completed in the British Navy driven by turbines as against only four in all the other Navies. The Admiralty broke the way into torpedo-boat destroyers and scouts. It started late in submarines, but easily leads in them to-day. The one ship in which the Admiralty is distinctly behind is the airship. No doubt they did not wish to go too fast, with the risk of rendering the whole existing Navy more or less obsolete. But when others begin to build really airworthy vessels the Admiralty needs must follow. They did build one unfortunate experiment — an airship as long as the Powerful — but she broke in two on the very first trial. That seems to have shaken the Admiralty's faith in airships, and England appears likely to trust, for her air defence, to aerial " destroyers," quick-rising, swift-moving aeroplanes or waterplanes, each with a machine gun, built to soar above any slower airship or aeroplane and kill it. Of course, the airship is very vulnerable by day ; but it has these points worth considering. It can fly as easily by night as by day ; it can cross really big stretches of sea ; and it can remain stationary over any point. All this is the worry of the Admiralty; indeed of a single department of the Admiralty, most of it. And it may give a mild idea of what the Admiralty is and what the Navy Board in Australia will have to be. Australians — who know something of the ways of public departments in democratic countries — can imagine the store of energy that must have gone to put and keep a public department in a condition in which, by its own alertness in its own class of enterprises, it now more or less automatically leads the world. It may be the Admiralty is no more than a sound, progressive, modern institution ; that it gets no more than a good, honest, average day's work from its sailors. The point is, that the mere fact of being a sound, progressive public office ; of showing the way, on the whole, to Europe, America, and Asia ; of being first into new fields when you may render £250,000,000 worth of steel obsolete in the old one; of getting an honest day's work out of public servants at all, and continuing to get it indefinitely, not scamped but thorough even where it does not show, when the reward of it all may be a hundred and fifty years beyond the horizon — this is a wonder in itself. The Admiralty has not always been awake. It is only within quite recent memory that it has been caught out of that dreamy dark backwater where the British offices sleepily revolve, and swept into the mid-current of modern progress. The real origin and reason of the change seems to have been that, in the melting-pot of a very huge service, some three or four men have come to the top of such sort as had the ability to set their standard on the Navy. A Fisher or Beresford or Scott is a man who may possibly exist in every million, but is rarely found out. A single Wilson may not be born to any nation in a century. We talk glibly of the deplorable lack of great commanders in these days, because we do not recognise that it is a rare thing for the world to have even one great commander in it at a time. The country is lucky which finds a single great specialist out of forty millions of citizens. . .
Please note: to avoid opening the book out, with the risk of damaging the spine, some of the pages were slightly raised on the inner edge when being scanned, which has resulted in some blurring to the text and a shadow on the inside edge of the final images. Colour reproduction is shown as accurately as possible but please be aware that some colours are difficult to scan and may result in a slight variation from the colour shown below to the actual colour. In line with guidelines on picture sizes, some of the illustrations may be shown enlarged for greater detail and clarity.        
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  Packed weight of this item : approximately 800 grams  
International Shipping options:
Details of the postage options to various  countries (via Air Mail) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above) and then selecting your country of residence from the drop-down list. For destinations not shown or other requirements, please contact me before buying.   Due to the extreme length of time now taken for deliveries, surface mail is no longer a viable option and I am unable to offer it even in the case of heavy items. I am afraid that I cannot make any exceptions to this rule.
Payment options for international buyers:
  • Payment can be made by: credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex) or PayPal. I can also accept a cheque in GBP [British Pounds Sterling] but only if drawn on a major British bank.
  • Regretfully, due to extremely high conversion charges, I CANNOT accept foreign currency : all payments must be made in GBP [British Pounds Sterling]. This can be accomplished easily using a credit card, which I am able to accept as I have a separate, well-established business, or PayPal.
  • Please contact me with your name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item.
  • Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (shipping, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me.
Prospective international buyers should ensure that they are able to provide credit card details or pay by PayPal within 7 days from the end of the auction (or inform me that they will be sending a cheque in GBP drawn on a major British bank). Thank you.
(please note that the book shown is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of this auction) Book dimensions are given in inches, to the nearest quarter-inch, in the format width x height. Please note that, to differentiate them from soft-covers and paperbacks, modern hardbacks are still invariably described as being ‘cloth’ when they are, in fact, predominantly bound in paper-covered boards pressed to resemble cloth.
Fine Books for Fine Minds I value your custom (and my feedback rating) but I am also a bibliophile : I want books to arrive in the same condition in which they were dispatched. For this reason, all books are securely wrapped in tissue and a protective covering and are then posted in a cardboard container. If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund. Unless the size of the book precludes this, hardback books with a dust-jacket are usually provided with a clear film protective cover, while hardback books without a dust-jacket are usually provided with a rigid clear cover. The Royal Mail, in my experience, offers an excellent service, but things can occasionally go wrong. However, I believe it is my responsibility to guarantee delivery. If any book is lost or damaged in transit, I will offer a full refund. Thank you for looking.
Please also view my other listings for a range of interesting books and feel free to contact me if you require any additional information Design and content © Geoffrey Miller

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  • Product Code:
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $69.99

  • Ex Tax: $69.99