Naval Warfare Books

Book reviews

Canadian Warship Names

Freeman, David J.

2001, Howell Press
ISBN 1551250489
Hardcover, 200 pages

Type. Reference
Pros. Only complete reference source to RCN ships by name
Cons. None to speak of

Although of fairly narrow interest in the wider sense, this volume is an essential reference for anyone wishing to identify Canadian naval ships, from the earliest days of 1910s NIOBE and RAINBOW up to the newest MCDVs - Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels. At that, the alphabetical-tabular ships' listings take up less than 1/3 of the book. For these a typical entry by its name includes the derivation, the number of vessels that have borne it, when each was in commission, its pennant number and the odd reference note as to source. These ships include everything from the cruisers and carriers down to auxilliary craft, tugs and named naval patrol motor launches, as well as bases, Reserve Divisions and barracks.

This section is preceded by an interesting description of such related and wider ranging subjects as what is meant by "in commission", the routine for commissioning, the import of badges and how they are selected, battle honours, ships' bells as a record, and a careful review of the Navy's, and the Government's, ever-changing naming policies and procedures - and the many exceptions thereto!

At the end are 19 Appendices, on such complementary topics as alternative names used (when confusion with RN or USN ships could have resulted) and names that were in fact duplicates anyway, unofficial ships' names and nicknames, battle honours by ship, Sea Cadet Bases, vessels of the 1940-1942 Fishermen's Reserve, and so on. With a broad bibliography and 3 indexes, it is a most complete and valuable reference tool for anyone requiring it. It is also really the first careful researching and recording of the minor naval vessels not found in Jane's and other references.

Review written by CDR Fraser M. McKee, Ontario, Canada.

Published on 19 Feb 2002.

This title is highly recommended.

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