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A Sailor's Odyssey: The Autobiography of Admiral of the Fleet, Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

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First published in 1951, this is the autobiography of a distinguished commander of WWII. Serving in both wars, he was Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean at the outbreak of war, forced to cope with inadequate resources and virtually no air cover. After a short spell in Washington as a Naval Representative he returned as Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean and worked with Eisenho First published in 1951, this is the autobiography of a distinguished commander of WWII. Serving in both wars, he was Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean at the outbreak of war, forced to cope with inadequate resources and virtually no air cover. After a short spell in Washington as a Naval Representative he returned as Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean and worked with Eisenhower and Alexander. His unique insight into the meetings with Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt make this a riveting read. “My main reasons for yielding to the suggestion [of setting down this record of my life] were because I wished to do justice to those under whom I served and from whom I learnt so much in my earlier years at sea, and also to pay a deserved tribute to those many whom I later had the honour and privilege to command in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Further, before memory became dimmed by the passage of time, I was anxious to describe what I saw of the part played by the Royal Navy in the two great wars of the present century which lasted in all for more than ten years. “In describing the years of war I have kept as closely as possible to those matters with which, and in which, the Navy was primarily concerned and engaged. Moreover, as nearly as may be, I have tried to concentrate upon that portion of the Navy with which I happened to be serving. […] success in war cannot be attributed to any single Service. Each one is helpless without the closest and most loyal co-operation with the other two. This applies equally to our two great Sea Services. In war the Royal and the Merchant Navies have always been interdependent and indivisible.”


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First published in 1951, this is the autobiography of a distinguished commander of WWII. Serving in both wars, he was Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean at the outbreak of war, forced to cope with inadequate resources and virtually no air cover. After a short spell in Washington as a Naval Representative he returned as Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean and worked with Eisenho First published in 1951, this is the autobiography of a distinguished commander of WWII. Serving in both wars, he was Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean at the outbreak of war, forced to cope with inadequate resources and virtually no air cover. After a short spell in Washington as a Naval Representative he returned as Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean and worked with Eisenhower and Alexander. His unique insight into the meetings with Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt make this a riveting read. “My main reasons for yielding to the suggestion [of setting down this record of my life] were because I wished to do justice to those under whom I served and from whom I learnt so much in my earlier years at sea, and also to pay a deserved tribute to those many whom I later had the honour and privilege to command in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Further, before memory became dimmed by the passage of time, I was anxious to describe what I saw of the part played by the Royal Navy in the two great wars of the present century which lasted in all for more than ten years. “In describing the years of war I have kept as closely as possible to those matters with which, and in which, the Navy was primarily concerned and engaged. Moreover, as nearly as may be, I have tried to concentrate upon that portion of the Navy with which I happened to be serving. […] success in war cannot be attributed to any single Service. Each one is helpless without the closest and most loyal co-operation with the other two. This applies equally to our two great Sea Services. In war the Royal and the Merchant Navies have always been interdependent and indivisible.”

14 review for A Sailor's Odyssey: The Autobiography of Admiral of the Fleet, Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris O'Donnell

  2. 5 out of 5

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  3. 4 out of 5

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  4. 5 out of 5

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