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Re: Seamans Handybook (was Well-known book on Naval Warfare)

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Posted by Martin Honor on January 23, 2018 at 02:29:44 user MartinH.

In Reply to: Re: Seamans Handybook (was Well-known book on Naval Warfare) posted by Magnus Smith on January 22, 2018 at 12:44:06:

Is it likely that John would have a copy of a US book? I don't know. It could be that he had a Royal Navy book courtesy of his father or from a naval outfitters, which provided other items in addition to uniforms.

When I joined the RN for officer training we were issued with, what I think was called "The Able Seaman's Handbook". This covered many practical items of seamanship that an AB might have to undertake. It was not the definitive publication, that was "The Admiralty Manual of Seamanship" in 4 volumes (Vol 1 of which is on my bookshelf as I type). As far as I can remember the AB's handbook covered compasses, ropework, and commands used in small boats amongst other items.

During WW2 there was "A Seaman's Pocketbook". Whether this was a republication of an earlier book or a new book as an aid to the many called up for service during the war I don't know. However it has been reprinted by Conways. It is described thus:

At the height of the Second World War this small pocket-book was issued to all ratings on board ships of the Royal Navy. In straight period prose it outlines all the basic expressions and tasks a seaman needed to know to perform his duties efficiently. Chapters are broken down into: Sea Terms; Navigation; Steering the Ship; Rigging; Anchors and Cables; Boatwork; Miscellaneous (which includes details on uniform and folding a hammock, etc); and Ship Safety. Functional black line illustrations are used throughout, as well as a few pages of colour (used sparingly) for flag recognition.

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