- Book reviewer
- Ship histories and stories, Book reviews, Naval Engagements, Operations and Capabilities
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Hawk
- September 2004 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Hands To Boarding Stations: The Story Of Minesweeper HMAS Hawk, Confrontation With Indonesia 1965-66
By John Foster
Published by Australian Military History Publications
13 Veronica Place Loftus NSW 2232
Available from the publishers via their website – www.warbooks.com.au)
Reviewed by LCDR Greg Swinden, RAN
Hands to Boarding Stations has been written by the former Commanding Officer of HMAS Hawk and details the ship’s service in South East Asia waters during Confrontation with Indonesia in 1965-66. This book is an excellent read for the avid Naval Historian, ex-RAN Personnel of the 1960s or anyone interested in the role played by the Navy in the Indonesian Confrontation. The story follows the ship’s history from preparing to leave Australia for South East Asia, deployment to Singapore and subsequent operations in Singaporean waters and Malaysian waters off Sabah and Sarawak.
An easy to read and extremely well written account (and liberally illustrated with photographs, charts and drawings) of the activities of the ship and her crew in their deployment to the war zone. Confrontation has become to many another ‘forgotten war’ due to the perception of a low level of combat activity. Hands to Boarding Stations shows that in reality this was not the case with lengthy and at times intense patrolling of the waterways between Singapore/ Malaysia and Indonesia in the search for insurgents and the frequency in which RAN vessels were engaged by Indonesian shore batteries. That no RAN personnel were killed due to this hostile and often accurate fire is surprising.
The book also details the events surrounding the incident onboard Hawk when one of her own crew ‘ran amok’ with a Owen Gun firing over 300 rounds at the ship and his shipmates.
This 125 page hard cover book retails at $39.00 but is well worth the price.