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The Shipping Broker : From Norway to the Turmoil of Pre-war China - Derek Berg

The Shipping Broker

From Norway to the Turmoil of Pre-war China

By: Derek Berg (As told by)


Published: 1st October 2008
RRP $34.95
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Booktopia Comments

The amazing story of a seemingly ordinary man doing extraordinary things. A real eye-opener, spanning all continents. - Booktopia Book Guru.

Product Description

On a winter’s day in 1913, Sverre Berg left Norway to get experience in shipping offices in Glasgow and Nantes.

While Sverre was in Glasgow, war broke out. He describes the devastating effect first of German surface raiders and later U-boats on ship owners and indeed on the course of the war. In Nantes, 200 miles south-west of Paris, Sverre describes his life in the cafés and brasseries along the Quai de la Fosse and the close friendships he struck up with Jimmy Bullock of the Gladiator, Captain Lefevre of the Pilot Service, Madame Rollins, Captain Bonnet of the barque Belle Île and, importantly, Terese.

Sverre’s next appointment was to Hong Kong. So in late 1916 he travelled across Russia and Siberia by train just before Russia’s first revolution. His travelling companions included an attractive dance troop and an American selling artificial limbs.

Sverre spent twenty-four years in Hong Kong. For a time he was the Norwegian Consul. Business and official duties brought him into contact with warlords, communist revolutionaries and Japanese officials. He witnessed the rise of Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek and their endeavours to unify China.

It all came to an end on Christmas day 1941 when Sverre Berg of the Royal Hong Kong volunteers was wounded while defending a six inch gun at Fort Stanley and he became a prisoner of war.


It showcases a life lived to the full


Reveals some little known aspects of life in some out-of-the-way places in the 1st half of the 20th century. Sverre is an unassuming man who was highly talented in the shipping world.

Sydney, AU


Deserves a better title


This book gives an excellent description of the period from before WW1 through to WW2 from the perspective of a neutral Norwegian in the shipping industry in Scotland, France, and Hong Kong. It is a well researched and well written insight into this period, as it follows the life and career of the authors father.

Melbourne, Au


some interesting parts


If you are interested in shipping and boats this could be interesting for you. I found most interesting how the Russian and Chinese history that I learnt at school was part of this man's life


The Shipping Broker

3.7 3


ISBN: 9781921362071
ISBN-10: 1921362073
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 251
Published: 1st October 2008
Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.0  x 1.500