1st.ed., 1942. Unpaginated but hundreds of pages. Profusely illustrated with photographs, line drawings, flags & funnels, etc. Original blue cloth ; gilt lettering to spine ; blind lettering to front board ; silk bookmark sewn in. 32 x 22cm. A crease to rear cover ; contemporary stamp to top edges : Purnell & Sons Ltd., File Copy ; o/w an exceptionally crisp & bright copy, V.G.+. The author’s work played a significant role during the Second World War, carried aboard many naval vessels for quick reference and identification. It was recognized as the standard work on the world’s merchant fleets – equivalent in size, format and content-value to Jane’s Fighting Ships. This mid-war edition is illustrated with over 900 photographs, 2,400 line drawings of ships, 700 line drawings of house-flags, and 1,500 line drawings of funnels. The author provides a wealth of information and data on every vessel in the Merchant Navy in 1942, as well as those of foreign flags. There are brief company histories, trade routes, German aircraft recognition silhouettes to help identify enemy planes at sea, and an index to the funnel colours of the world’s shipping lines. In addition there are details of Merchant Navy standard uniforms as authorized in 1919 ; British trawler fleets ; port distinguishing letters of European fishing vessels ; and much more besides. The work remains a major source of reference on merchant shipping of the period ; invaluable today for identifying ships in photographs, etc.