- Book reviewer
- History - general, Ship design and development, Ship histories and stories, Book reviews
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Yandra
- September 1993 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
“SMALL SHIPS AT WAR” By Iris Nesdale
There has been for quite some time, a need for the story of the Small Ships of the RAN, below Corvette size in the main, to be told.
Readers will be amazed no doubt, of the existence of a number of these vessels, some of which have been in the public eye, such as ALFIE CAM, PATRICIA CAM, PING WO and the like.
However, the revelations of the “SNAKE” group, which were quite clandestine in their activities, should make the reader aware that an extremely vital role was played, which because of the nature of their efforts, had to be kept under wraps. No glamour such as was the norm for the “Big Boys” (cruisers, destroyers, etc.) and had it not been for people like Iris Nesdale and those who served in those vessels, a very important part of the activities of the RAN would be relegated to a fate which their story certainly does not deserve.
The role of H.M.A.S. YANDRA in the mop up after the SYDNEY – KORMORAN action is a revelation and is well described. The old KARA KARA and her preparation for sinking as a target is well known to this reviewer as I was responsible for her preparation for the final act in her life. (KARA KARA was sunk by Clearance Divers under CPOCD Sandy Brennan, despite the efforts of PERTH, YARRA, TEAL and 805 Squadron. Demolition charges were placed in the Machinery Spaces, which did the job).
The Naval Auxiliary Patrol gets a well deserved mention for its role as do the numerous ships and vessels mentioned, spiced with tales from some of those who were privileged to serve in the “behind the scenes” Navy.
In all, a well written, informative book that will grace the shelves of any reader with a nostalgia for the little ships and the men that played such a vital role, particularly for those who served in them, as well as providing a reference for many hitherto undisclosed activities by those vessels.