A Mission of Honour - The Royal Navy in the Pacific 1769 to 1997, by John McLean.
Covering more than two centuries, from Captain Cook to the handover of Hong Kong, the forty nine chapters of this book deal with such diverse topics as exploration, marine surveying and charting, carrying convicts to Australia and taking New Zealand kauri spars back to Britain for the Royal Dockyards, maintaining stocks of provisions on remote islands for the benefit of shipwrecked sailors, fighting wars against the Russians, Maoris, Germans and Japanese, shipwrecks, mutiny, piracy, desertion, ceremonial, shore leave and raising the Union Jack on distanct shores to create new colonies such as Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Britain's gift to the Pacific has been sea power. By almost single handedly bringing peace and order and security to the Pacific, the Royal Navy carved for itself the honour of being the most positive factor in the development of peaceful trade of the world's largest ocean. A Mission of Honour tells this remarkable and uplifitng story with a sharp eye for detail and a sense of adventure.