Come Hell and High Water: Extraordinary Stories of Wreck, Terror and Triumph on the Sea

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Readable, entertaining mini-histories of extraordinary shipwrecks, some famous (Titanic, Kursk) some little known.

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2007 Hardcover New in New dust jacket; "A positively brilliant addition to popular maritime history is this omnibus of historic shipwrecks, ranging in notoriety from the demise ... of the Titanic (which may by now have been done to death, but which [Jean] Hood eloquently... 1.7 x 9.2 x 6.1 Inches; 416 pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Readable, entertaining mini-histories of extraordinary shipwrecks, some famous (Titanic, Kursk) some little known.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

These 17 stories of catastrophes at sea demonstrate why shipwrecks have been a mainstay of literature since Homer's Odyssey. English sea historian Hood (Marked for Misfortune) begins with three mid-18th-century shipwrecks, all resulting from bad weather, bad luck, unsafe ships and incompetent leadership. Though the invention of radio, metal hulls, the internal combustion engine and effective safety regulations eventually ameliorate these problems, in this collection they only figure in the last two stories, about 21st-century Russian submarine sinkings. Except for the tragedy of the Titanic, most of these unhappy events have faded into obscurity; but in their time, the news of mass death accompanied by horror, courage, cowardice and sacrifice produced universal shock. Since survivors rushed to tell their stories, there is no shortage of documentation. Skillfully mining the archives, Hood produces a gripping narrative illuminating ship operation, nautical terms and historical context, so readers have a clear idea of not only what happened but why. But despite wonderful material and obvious writing talent, Hood relies too much on invented dialogue, internal monologues and short, speculative scenarios. Readers who can overlook those unfortunate interludes will enjoy a relentlessly fascinating series of horrific sea disasters. 24 b&w photos. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580801430
  • Publisher: Burford Books
  • Publication date: 4/25/2007
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.45 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     6
Introduction     7
The Floating Bomb - Prince, 1752     10
The Phoenix of Bird Island - Dodington, 1755     28
Taken by Storm - HMS Centaur and HMS Ramillies, 1782     55
Ice Ship - Albion, 1810     77
The Gorgon's Curse - Meduse, 1816     95
Worse Things Happen At Sea - Rothsay Castle, 1831     135
Death Sentence - Amphitrite, 1833     160
Maiden Voyage - San Francisco, 1853-54     180
A Clash of Titans - HMS Victoria and HMS Camperdown, 1893     208
Spanish Tragedy - Sirio, 1906     229
Almost Unsinkable - Titanic, 1912     249
The Sea Shall Not Have Them - USS Squalus, 1939     276
The Alexandria Raid - HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth, 1941     288
Our Friends, the Enemy - Laconia and U-156, 1942     316
To the Bitter End - Flying Enterprise, 1952     344
The Brotherhood of the Sea - Kursk and Priz AS-28, 2000/2005     366
Conclusion     389
Glossary     394
Illustration Credits     396
Index     397
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