The torpedo was the greatest single game-changer in the history of naval warfare. For the first time it allowed any small, cheap torpedo-firing vessel - and by extension a small, minor navy - to threaten the largest and most powerful warships afloat. The traditional concept of seapower, based on huge fleets of expensive capital ships, required radical rethinking.
It had long been understood that the most effective way of sinking a ship is to make a hole below the waterline, but centuries of experiments had failed to produce an effective method of achieving this. After many false starts and developmental cul-de-sacs, the answer proved to be the 'locomotive' or self-propelled torpedo, which became a practical proposition in the late nineteenth century. This book is a broad-ranging international history of the weapon, tracing not only its origins and technical progress down to the present day, but also its massive impact on all subsequent naval wars.
Torpedo is the first dedicated study of this highly significant subject for over thirty years, a period in which much new information has come to light and the capabilities of the weapon itself have improved beyond recognition. Because of the crucial importance of the torpedo in naval history, this is a book no enthusiast or historian can afford to miss.
Author(s): R Branfill-Cook
First Publishment Date: 30 July 2014