Building the Wooden Fighting Ship

Building the Wooden Fighting Ship

LEITH-BUILT SHIPS - Henry Robb Ltd 1945 - 1969 - Vol 3 - PRE ORDER

LEITH-BUILT SHIPS - Henry Robb Ltd 1945 - 1969 - Vol 3 - PRE ORDER

British Cruisers - Two World Wars and After

Norman Friedman

With detailed appendices of ship data, and illustrated in depth with photos and A D Bakers specially commissioned plans, British Cruisers truly matches the lofty standards set by Friedmans previous books on British destroyers.
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For most of the twentieth century Britain possessed both the worlds largest merchant fleet and its most extensive overseas territories. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Royal Navy always showed a particular interest in the cruiser a multi-purpose warship needed in large numbers to defend trade routes and police the empire. Above all other types, the cruisers competing demands of quality and quantity placed a heavy burden on designers, and for most of the inter-war years Britain sought to square this circle through international treaties restricting both size and numbers. In the process she virtually invented the heavy cruiser and inspired the large 6in-armed cruiser, neither of which, ironically, served her best interests. For the first time this book seeks to comprehend the full policy background, from which a different and entirely original picture emerges of British cruiser development. After the war the cruisers role was reconsidered and the final chapters of the book cover modernisations, the plans for missile-armed ships and the convoluted process that turned the through-deck cruiser into the Invincible class light carriers. With detailed appendices of ship data, and illustrated in depth with photos and A D Bakers specially commissioned plans, British Cruisers truly matches the lofty standards set by Friedmans previous books on British destroyers.

ISBN: 9781399097918
Format: Hardback
Author(s): Norman Friedman
First Publishment Date: 30 January 2022
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Author(s) Norman Friedman
Customer Reviews
  1. stunning and high quality publication
    This is the “paperback” edition of a book first published in 2010. I use the phrase “paperback” advisably as this coffee table book of some 430 pages is hardly suitable for bedtime reading! Those familiar with Norman Freidman’s work will immediately recognise the classic Friedman hallmarks in this book - exhaustive research, a wealth of comprehensively captioned photos, line drawings and details of the political and defence arguments as designs evolved. Many of the photos are from the US Navy Historical collection with photos from the wartime refitting of RN ships in US yards. There are also some interesting drawings of Vickers Armstrong export designs, both pre and post-war, for countries as diverse as Cuba, Brazil, Portugal and the Netherlands. Trade protection was the traditional role for cruisers and the growth of radio allowed for a more economical and effective deployment of cruisers and thus directly impacted on cruiser design of the inter-war years. This book is not about individual ships and their in-service record but the development of the cruiser and role. The book covers the early trade protection cruiser of the Bristol Class of 1907 through the inter-war Cs and Ds to the wartime workhorses of the Town, Colony and Dido Classes to the post-war Tigers and Invincible-class ‘Through deck’ cruisers; an Appendix covers the fast minelayers, Adventure and Abdiel Class. There are separate chapters covering armaments and radar fits, aircraft capability, the impact of the Washington and London Treaties on cruiser design, and wartime experience and its impact on post-war designs. The end of WWII saw the steady decline of the cruiser. The Tiger Class build was suspended until the late 1950s; only Superb was built to the original class design. Meanwhile manpower pressures and the emergence of the missile age inevitably brought changes to designs. It was argued that carriers needed cruisers for AA and ASW defence and the ‘escort cruiser’ concept saw the 3 Tiger Class converted to carry ASW helicopters. The escort cruiser became the command cruiser resulting in the Invincible-class fully air capable cruiser, perhaps the last cruiser for the RN. There is such a wealth of material in this book that it is easy to comment that it is all a bit indigestible, but a book such as this is not designed, I suggest, to be read all at once but serves as an invaluable authoritative source on cruiser design of the 20th century. To top off this stunning and high quality publication, the cover is the magnificent Norman Wilkinson painting of the Battle of the River Plate – a fitting tribute to the British cruiser of WWII. Very highly recommended.

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