Armed Merchant Cruisers - Kenneth PoolmanLondon: Leo Cooper in association with Secker & Warburg, 1985, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Price Clipped.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Maps to the endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: “Armed Merchant Cruisers is indeed the correct term to describe the ships in Kenneth Poolman’s book, for that is what they were called and, to some extent, what they were: merchant ships requisitioned by the Government and used as auxiliary cruisers in time of war. They were also armed, but the term is relative. A man carrying a pistol and a man carrying a machine-gun are armed, but at any range the man with the machine-gun has the advantage and beyond a certain range the man with the pistol might as well throw it away. The AMC was very much like the man with the pistol: the ship was armed, but the armament was usually obsolete and, almost invariably, inferior in range and in weight to that of the enemy.
Nevertheless, as Kenneth Poolman shows in his dramatic and fascinating accounts of some of the epic encounters of these gallant ships, they did not sail the seas in vain. In two World Wars, ill-equipped for their arduous role, not only in armament but also in armour, in design and in the experience of their crews, they defied the enemy and the elements with indomitable courage. There can be no better example than the epic story of the sinking of the Rawalpindi, which Kenneth Poolman brings vividly to life, to prove that these ships did not sail, or sink, to no purpose.
The book does not set out to catalogue the career of every AMC from the Hecla of 1878 onwards. It does, however, explain what they were and how and for what they were used and describes in graphic detail some of the more famous actions in which they were involved. Kenneth Poolman covers a hitherto neglected area of our Naval history and pays a long overdue tribute to the bravery of the crews of the AMCs whose unenviable lot it was to face the enemy against such overwhelming odds.”