The ultimate officers’ guide from the commander of the HMS Hood. “A fascinating historical record . . . a first-class textbook for modern managers” (Baird Maritime).
Published in 1937 and now recognized as one of the most influential, yet highly accessible, volumes on naval command and organization, Running a Big Ship provides truly unique insight into life at sea during the Second World War.
O’Conor famously commenced the book with his “ten commandments,” a concise code of orders that comprise “a little that everyone must know.” The main body of the book sets out each of the duties required of a Royal Navy Officer in detailed, clear terms with O’Conor’s insightful advice. Such knowledge ranges from tips on the issuing and execution of orders to attendance requirements, the treatment of defaulters and shipboard theft, midshipmen training, ceremonies, uniforms, cleanliness aboard ship, and the management of the Fleet Air Arm and the high-speed service boats. There are fascinating observations and explanations of the finer points of bugle calls, the treatment of guests, and complete instructions for many forms of recreation from cinema to regattas.
Credited with making a significant contribution to the wartime navy’s esprit de corps, the book had a lasting impact on shipboard understanding and relations for vessels large and small as young, diverse crews withstood the considerable strain of actual war. Running a Big Ship truly sets us below decks and at sea during World War II and includes an extensive introduction by one of the foremost historians of the Royal Navy, Brian Lavery.