Cruiser: The life and loss of HMAS Perth and her crew
William Heinemann, $55 hb, 706 pp
Australian war historians usually find their theme in the army. Mike Carlton, a well-known journalist, thinks it is time to praise the Australian warship Perth and its men: ‘They were the flower of Australia’s greatest generation. No other has been so tested.’
It is fair to suggest that the Perth is virtually unknown to the typical Australian today, and certainly less familiar than her sister ship, the HMAS Sydney. It is curious that a nation surrounded by sea and so reliant on the sea lanes tends to be more conscious of its racing yachts than of its warships; but that is what happens during a long period of relative peace.