Yangtze Showdown: China and the Ordeal of HMS Amethyst by Brian Izzard
Turned into a dramatic film, eulogised in the media; the Yangtze incident made headlines worldwide back in 1949.
The British frigate Amethyst was cruising in the Yangtze River when Chinese communists attacked. The ship became trapped in the area for 101 days, after which it made a dramatic escape. It was an event captured the imagination of the world and became highlighted as a dramatic, escapist boys own style event promoted by Hollywood. But what was the truth behind the event?
New research has highlighted an intriguing and very fascinating story. The British Government had intended that some of the official files should remain closed until 2030. The changing world picture has meant that these files have now been released allowing historians access to classified information. The result is the discovery of a tale of intelligence failure, military over confidence, a flawed but very personable and interesting hero; all of which make entertaining and lively reading.
Brian Izzard has successfully brought to life the characters, the personalities which dominated this event, especially the sailors caught up in an incident that they had never expected to encounter. I loved the tale of Simon, the ships cat who managed did sterling work helping traumatized sailors, killing rats and overcoming the prejudices of the ship’s captain to ensure he retained his precious bunk in the captain’s cabin!
Well researched, and well written, this is an intriguing study of a historical event that caught the attention of the world.
You buy the book on Amazon and in stores.