By Russell Wild
On first sight, you might think that "HMHS Britannic: The Last Titan" is a little thin, being of 64 pages in comparison with the huge bulk of such books as "Titanic & Her Sisters Olympic & Britannic". However, looks are very, very deceptive in this case, because you soon realise that the book is really 100% solid Britannic, in every way. Not only does the introduction squeeze onto the contents page (which is the first page you see), but the front inside cover is adorned with a large and crisp photograph of Britannic's bow in the gantry. Is if that weren't enough, the rear inside cover is utilised as a repository for a handy set of deck plans.
The text contained within "HMHS Britannic: The Last Titan" is incredibly rich in content. Facts and figures abound, which will satisfy the thirst of those who are interested in the technical side of the ship. At the same time, the text is both clear and concise which makes it enjoyable to read and a great learning resource. Split up into 9 chapters and 7 appendices, it's easy to find the information you want. This books is especially suitable for cover to cover reading, as each of the chapters seamlessly merge into each other, in a logical and narrative fashion. This is in contrast to some reference books which tend to wander haphazardly from topic to topic. In other words, this book can either be used as a "delve-into" reference source, or as a novel about the ships life.
Only a tiny number of pages in the book are devoid of some kind of illustration. In most cases, each page has 2 or more illustrations on it. The majority of these illustrations are period photographs, although there are also drawings, sketches and maps. The photographs cover a whole range of subjects - the ship (naturally), the crew, other requisitioned ships, key people and much more. All are of an excellent quality, and it is easy to see small details on the photographs of the ship. The only let down point on this front is that there are no photographs of the wreck included. However, the textual discussion of the wreck more than makes up for this.
This book is an absolute must for anyone who has even the slightest interest in Britannic. Whatever aspect of the ship you are interested in, this book will more than satisfy your thirst for knowledge. A book which is so well researched and thought-out is becoming a rarity these days with the escalating fame of Titanic, and ultimately Britannic. Well done to Simon Mills for writing this book, without which the "Lost Sisters" truly would be lost.