Sunday, 3 May 2009

Destination Dardanelles: The Story of HMS E7

Well. It was interesting. Non-fiction. But the title is somewhat misleading. It doesn't talk about HMS E7 (a submarine), half as much as I expected. It gives random details and bits of info about other submarines. The subject itself is interesting--submarines in the First World War. Don't often hear about them, but they did exist and they were used. The blurb said it was giving a 'binocular' view, putting the experiences of the one crew of HMS E7 in context with what was happening throughout the campaign. Not really I'm afraid. It was too general to be called specifically on HMS E7, but didn't really give enough detail to be called a general book on submarine warfare, or even submarines in the Dardanelles (involved with the Gallipoli campaign it seems). Also, it had clearly not been proofread, or proofread by someone with a very poor grasp of the English language, as it was liberally littered with grammatical errors and typos in general. Now, when you start to see a non-fiction book with that sort of problem, it makes you wonder just how accurate the information itself is. If they haven't checked the writing, have they checked the facts? It would've been much better if the author had limited themselves to reproducing the diary that was supposedly being used to give the story of HMS E7, with a few explanatory bits to explain references that wouldn't make sense without a bit of extra knowledge. So yeh, while the subject was interesting, I wouldn't recommend this book as a good starting point, or even as a continuing point, for reading about it.

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