John Dikkenberg has spent a life time at sea, serving in a variety of ships. He has commanded submarines, destroyers, an 19th century barque (James Craig) and is the current Master of the 18th century bark, HMB Endeavour.
John brings a seafarer’s eye to maritime history and has just published his first book.
In Whom We Trust deals with disasters at sea. John takes the perspective of the ships’ masters and asks what could have led to the decisions they made, that so often destroyed ships. Many simply fell into disaster having adopted the common attitudes of their day, some were incompetent while others were the victims of poor support from their companies or navies. In a few cases, they were let down by the material state of their ships or the technical inadequacies of their weapons.
John probes some of maritime history’s most famous disasters – the Titanic and the Bismarck – and he brings to light the complex but lesser tragedies such as the Flying Enterprise. He brings fresh insights to the past and renders the technicalities of command at sea, accessible to a broad audience.
John Dikkenberg has been at sea his entire working life. He joined the Royal Australian Navy as a cadet in 1966 and after graduating, served in destroyers and the troop transport HMAS Sydney, then the Vung Tau Ferry, carrying troops to the Vietnam War.
John undertook the Submarine Commanding Officers’ Course in the United Kingdom, known as ‘Perisher’ in 1981. Returning to Australia, he commanded the submarines Otway and Orion and the frigate Torrens. He was the Commander of the Australian Submarine Squadron from 1989 to 1993. During this period he also completed the Royal Navy Staff Course in Greenwich, England and the Australian Joint Services Staff Course in Canberra, Australia.
John now sails as the master of HMB Endeavour, the world-renowned replica of Captain Cook’s ship of exploration and is a master of the 1874 iron barque James Craig.
The evening will include a 45 minute presentation, short question time and book signing. Light refreshments will be provided.