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The Naval Cutter Alert
   The ship addressed in this release, "Alert", was one of the huge number of armed cutters built with the ultimate intention to supplement the British Navy Fleet in the period 1763-1835. These ships were small-sized and swift and they were mostly deployed for the relatively minor roles like conveying dispatches, inshore patrolling and reconnaissance duties;  in addition to the above, subject vessels were also providing assistance to the Revenue service. The book prepared by Peter Goodwin features an excellent and detailed description of the ship including the origins, concept and other details, with the technical information being supplemented with more than a hundred of perspective and 3-view drawings. Peter Goodwin is also the author of two other publications which belong to the AOTS series and depicting the Blandford and Granado ships. Approximately one third of the book provides readers with the thorough but concise description of the hull and equipment, as well as the service. The rest of the publication is models and drawings, labeled diagrams and plans of nearly every piece of equipment contained on board. This all makes this book a truly irreplaceable information source for ship model makers and other categories of marine enthusiasts.

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The Aircraft Carrier Victorious

   Prior to the order in 1917 for the first purpose-built aircraft carrier, HMS Hermes, the Royal Navy had relied upon a motley collection of mercantile and naval conversions on which to launch (and occasionally land) aircraft. None of these ships embodied all - if any - of the essential elements of a genuine aircraft carrier, but all contributed in some way to the eventual development of such a vessel. During this same period the role of the aircraft at sea was also undergoing a transformation. Originally envisaged as a useful spotting device for relaying the fall of shot from a battleship's main armament, the aircraft was slowly gaining recognition as an effective striking force in its own right. The Washington Treaty of 1922 did much to stunt the development of new carriers by placing a limitation of 27,000 tons displacement per carrier, within a total tonnage of 135,000 tons for America and Britain and 81,000 tons for Japan. This limitation remained in force until the end of 1936. Each country was also permitted to convert two 33,000-ton capital ships into aircraft carriers. This additional provision suited the Royal Navy, which had a recognised requirement for five carriers and was thus able to convert the large light cruisers Courageous and Glorious into carriers during the latter half of the 1920s, in a similar fashion to HMS Furious (originally converted in 1917 and more extensively reworked between 1921 and 1925). A special clause in the Treaty enabled the USA to convert her two battlecruisers Lexington and Saratoga, which finally displaced 38,500 tons, under the pretext of permitting modifications to existing capital ships in order to protect them from underwater and air attack.

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The 20-gun Ship Blandford

   This interesting publication belongs to the world famous and popular "Anatomy of the Ship" series of books, which was released by the US Naval Institute to provide the naval history enthusiasts, ship model makers, naval architects and everyone who likes the sea and the ships, with the technical details and supporting illustrating materials relating to the construction and inner arrangement of historical vessels. The author of this volume, Peter Goodwin, who is recognized expert, performed a thorough research work which gave a truly perfect result - his publication starts with some necessary historical info on the development of the ship, followed by technical data on the construction, decoration and general layout, steering arrangements, armament, ground tackle and pumps, standing and running rigging of the ship, sails arrangement, mats and spars, boats. There are many photographs taken of the model and included in order to better illustrate the text. The regular and three-view drawings in the book address the general arrangement, construction of the internal and external hull, fittings, rigging, masts, boats etc., literally everything, there is no any part missed.

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The Heavy Cruiser Takao

   As it has been noted by one of the reviewers of the book, it contains enough information on the vessel to make a duplicate vessel. The book reflects the huge work performed by one of the foremost experts, Janusz Skulski, whose historical publications are popular and widely known for the first class drawings, provides valuable information about the Takao class of heavy cruisers that belonged to Japanese Navy Fleet. The data contained in the book covers not only the design of the ships, but also hull structure and protection, machinery and armament, fire control arrangements, summary of service etc. One of the best resources in published in English language for the Japanese navy ships of the World War II. The text is supplemented with many photos and drawings such as general arrangement, superstructure, rig, armament, lines, body plan etc. We would think that this book is the must-have one for every naval historian; moreover, the amount of technical info and detailed drawings makes it very useful for those who like making models of the old ships - there will be no need for any other source of data when building a model of Takao since everything can be found in the single perfectly organized volume.

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The Cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni

   The origins of the light cruiser can be easily traced back to the so-called "protected cruisers" of the late nineteenth century. These designers of these vessels implemented a new feature - they came to the decision to eschewe side armour in favour of a protective deck at about waterline level over the machinery department as well as other spaces that were considered vital for the vessel, and although they tended to be smaller than the regular armoured cruisers, there were so many examples of very large protected cruisers, like the British Powerful and Terrible at fourteen thousand tons. Simultaneously, much smaller cruisers were being built for use as fleet scouts and leaders of destroyer flotillas and at first these vessels had some deck protection but later classes adopted limited side armour as well. The readers will definitely see a true Italian touch in the design, construction and arrangement of Bartolomeo Colleoni - this can be felt even looking at the accommodation drawings. The remarkable research work performed by the duet of expert authors, Franco and Valerio Gay, is wonderful, taking into account the outstanding level of drawings and details provided even down to the sidearms...

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The Flower Class Corvette Agassiz

   One more good book with so much of finest technical information and so many detailed drawings on the Agassiz. We would highly recommend this publication to people who are willing to get some better knowledge of the inside and outside of this type of vessel. In fact, this book is a complete technical work performed by the authors, John McKay and John Harland, on the Flower Class corvette. The draftsmanship in this book is perfect, and every frame, beam and strength member is depicted in detail. This book will be invaluable for the naval history fans as well as for the modelers. Talking about Flower class vessels, they were legendary and typified the war against the submarines of Hitler's fleet. Featuring a novel whale catcher design, those ships were pressed into service as they could be built in large series and relatively fast - of course this is very important when there is a war. The amateur naval architects will find this book very useful since it contains superbly detailed and informative diagrams supplemented with twenty-eight transverse sections of the hull made in 1:96 scale. The general naval architects will appreciate the deck plans and profile views, including cross-sections of anti-submarine weapons and other related ammunition.

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The Royal Yacht Caroline 1749

   This book by Giorgio Osculati and Sergio Bellabarba was released to serve as a reference book for ship modelers. As it is already the established tradition for all of the Anatomy of the Ship series publications, it contains so much valuable technical and historical information about the Royal Yacht Caroline - it all makes the book extremely useful for that such enthusiasts. The first, introductory part of this publication, provides us with some historical background and sheds some light on the development of the "career" of this remarkable vessel, her reconstruction, hull structure and fittings, decorative work, armament, spars and masts; particular attention has been paid by the author to sails arrangement, trestletrees, tops and caps, standing rigging, belaying, rigging dimensions, colour scheme, running rigging. There are many photographs in the book included to illustrate the text. In addition to the images mentioned above, a number of detailed regular and three-view drawings addressing ship construction, lines, general arrangement, decoration and fittings, armament and boats, yards and masts, sails and rigging have been provided by the duet of authors in order to make the book even more useful and practical for model makers.

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The Escort Carrier Gambier Bay

   This publication by Al Ross belonging to the Anatomy of the Ship series from Conway Maritime Press is dedicated to the famous escort carrier Gambier Bay, which was a Casablanca class mid-was carrier serving within the United States Navy Fleet. The book addresses the remarkable service history of the carrier, machinery, hull structure and general arrangement, fire control equipment, radar, catapult, searchlights, armament, boats and camouflage, and, of course, aircraft. The drawings provided in the publication depict general arrangement of the ship, machinery, construction details, lines, fittings, armament, rig, boats, camouflage, battle damage and flight deck arrangements. In general, the publication follows the usual established format, and consists of the historical and descriptive parts, followed by a group of images and many detailed drawings of the USS Gambier Bay. For sure, all readers will gain a significant amount of understanding of the construction and specific features of this class of ships, and this fact makes us consider this book very useful for the naval enthusiasts, ship model makers and all other people willing to know a bit more about the naval ships and wars of the past.

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The 24-Gun Frigate Pandora

   One more pearl of the Conway's Anatomy of the Ship series. In their book John McKay and Ron Coleman joined their efforts to familiarize readers with the world famous frigate Pandora. The book is pretty full of the very valuable info related to the design and newbuilding process, construction of the ship - in particular, hull construction, copper sheathing and fastening, pumps, armament, galley stove and still, boats, decoration, sweeps, oars, steering system, anchors and cables, yards, masts and rigging. There are so many detailed technical drawings, sketches and even paint schemes depicting the construction of internal and external hulls of the vessel, her general arrangement, armament, fittings, masts and yards, sails and rigging, etc. It shall be noted that in the opinion of some of the reviewers of this book, it is the best and stand-out one in the whole AOTS collection. That is not surprising, taking into consideration the completeness of the drawings, including 1/144-scaled cross-section and even isometric drawings providing full picture of the ship and making it very easy to build a model. This is a real treasure for any naval historian and model maker - in fact, to every person who likes the sea and whatever is related to it.

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The 44-Gun Frigate USS Constitution

   Another part of the Anatomy of the Ship collection - this one was prepared by Karl Heinz Marquardt with the intention to provide the enthusiasts of the naval history with the useful and interesting information on the USS Constitution. The ship in question is one of the six original frigates that served in the United States Navy Fleet and were ordered as a counter-measure to the Barbary corsairs. These vessels were very fast and were heavily armed and their service was truly remarkable. The book contains all necessary technical specifications, drawings and images, giving the data on the ship's parts including hull, machinery, outfitting and armament. It will also be useful to ship modelers who may wish to build their own model of the USS Constitution as they will find all required technical data in the book.  Though at the first glance this book looks as the modeler's guide, it will be everything to even to people ignorant to model making. We recommend it to everyone willing to possess the detailed construction plans of this truly magnificent vessel in his collection. It will be equally interesting to the naval historians, nautical experts, ship model builders, and any other sort of enthusiasts.

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The Type XXI U-Boat

   The publication we want to offer, is actually a popular German book which was first published in 1988 as "Ubootyp XXI" - it was later translated into English language. It contains much more supplementary images than any other release of the "Anatomy of the Ship" series does, more than a hundred, and includes ones taken of the boats being built and there are also many images taken afterwards. It is also very rich with the drawings of the boats - in facts, such drawings are re-drawn versions of the original shipyard plans issued for the new construction. In fact, the design of the submarines addressed in this publication was a very serious step in the whole history of the development of the underwater vehicles. We could say that the vessels in questions served as the prototypes of the today's conventionally powered submarines. The first boats of this design were launched in 1944. Such submarines featured a number of innovations  - for example, the schnorkel, allowing to run faster while being under the water, employing the diesel machines, and auto torpedo reload systems. Such novel design features helped these submarines in their service. The record of their brilliant service has also been provided in this publication.

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The Destroyer Campbeltown

   At 11:35 on 28 March 1942, at St Nazaire, France, the air was suddenly shattered by a thunderous explosion in the bows of an old destroyer lodged in the caisson of Normandie Loск. The forward half of the vessel, and a large number of unfortunate German soldiers inspecting her, were vapourized. The caisson was breached and what remained of the old destroyer was washed into the lock by the resulting inrush of water, effectively eliminating St Nazaire as a repair facility for Tirfntz. So ended the career of HMS Campbeltown (former USS Buchanan). HMS Campbeltown was one of fifty obsolete flush-decked destroyer vessels which were transferred to the Royal Navy in exchange for leases on some British bases along the Atlantic seaboard. In May 1940, Prime Minister Churchill made his first request for destroyers to President Roosevelt. The Royal Navy's destroyer forces were essential to ensure the flow of materials to the island nation, but had suffered heavy losses in the first months of the World War II. Although the RN had 433 destroyers in service at the end of the World War I, it began the Second with only 184 available. Despite the construction of 21 new destroyers during the first year of the new war, heavy losses, particularly those associated with the evacuations of Norway and Dunkirk, had brought this number down to 171. At first, Roosevelt was reluctant to countenance the transfer. There were several reasons for this...

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The Battleship Warspite

   This publication by Ross Watton, who is one of the recognized experts in the field of the naval history, will tell you everything you wanted to know about the Warspite - one of the five battleships which belonged to the Queen Elizabeth class and served in the course of both first and second World Wars before they got scrapped. Those famous vessels did also participate in the historical Jutland battle. Three major parts of this publication are named introduction, photos and technical drawings of the ship. The intro part provides some basic knowledge on the history of the construction and service. The readers will find all data they need and there is definitely not any other book of this kind that could provide them with such detailed information, from aft to boom, room-to-room, deck-by-deck.  The particular attention has been paid by the author to the hull fittings and deck machinery, fire control arrangements, armament and disruptive camouflage items, boats, ground tackle; accommodation area has always been dealt with. Have a look into this book and you will not be disappointed - it is really worth being included in your collection since the book is dedicated to the very important ship with the interesting history and excellent record of service.

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The four-masted barque Lawhill
   Another title of the Anatomy of the Series - this one is some sort of tribute to Lawhill, the last of those great barques that made a living in the last century. Though the ships in question have almost disappeared from the world's oceans, there are still some of them remaining - they are either moored as museum ships or converted to the sailing ships used for training the future seamen. This collection compiled by three authors - Kenneth Edwards, Roderick Anderson and Richard Cookson, contains so much of valuable contemporary material like records, drawings and images, making this volume a very useful reference book for any naval history enthusiast. For most of the people interested in marine history, these barques are mostly associated with the famous grain races of the past. The four- and five-masted ships were the ultimate sailing vessels, and the one to which the present book is dedicated, Lawhill, was one of the largest barques. This is definitely the must-have book and one of the most important and informative ones for every naval enthusiast interested in the last days of the greatest sailing vessels. We do recommended it to everyone as we recommend any other Anatomy of the Ship publication.

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The Battlecruiser Hood
   A truly excellent volume written by one of the recognized naval history experts, John Roberts and dedicated to the HMS Hood; this title is most probably one of the most important and interesting ones in the whole series "Anatomy of the Ship". The author included all technical info in ones volume, to the very last nut and bolt. Just imagine, there was a time when the ship to which this book is dedicated, was the fastest and biggest capital ship in the whole world and, at the same time, HMS Hood used to be among the most handsome ships of those times. Hood was deservedly called the proud of the Royal Navy - and was considered unsinkable vessel, just like the Titanic. The vessel's keel was laid in 1916 and HMS Hood was designed and constructed at the times when navy ships had to get quite close to the enemies' facilities to be able to fire at them. However, by the time the ship was delivered, i.e. in 1918, the vessels were already able to shoot from the greater distances... As it is very common to all AOTS series publications, this book contains, apart from the detailed technical data, the numerous drawings, sketches and photos, and shall definitely be treated as a perfect source for all people interested on the naval history.

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The Schooner Berta L. Downs
   This work by Basil Greenwill is fully dedicated to the famous schooner and contains various plans, drawings and general technical/non-technical info on this ship. Bertha L. Dawns was one of those large schooners constructed in England at the end of XIX - beginning of XX century; almost all of such vessels were mostly employed in the coastal trade, mostly dealing with the coal transportation from Virginia to New England. The ship addressed in this publication, was launched in 1908 and was later sold to Danish owner - she was given a new name - "Atlas". Like all other vessels, her contemporaries, Bertha L. Dawns managed to make a very good profitable living through the early twentieth century before getting broken up in Germany after 42 successful working years under five flags. The type to which this vessel used to belong, differs a lot from any other one. Those ships were able to operate quite economically, having a small steam engine on board, used to hoist the sails. This, in turn, required much smaller crew in comparison to the conventional steam ships. However, the speed of these vessels was relatively low, since they were fully dependent on the wind, so the cargoes they used to haul were mostly stone, coal and lumber...  

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the frigate diana
   This thorough and very interesting study performed by David White has been based on the Admiralty Collection in the Draught Room of the National Maritime Museum. There are about eight thousand detailed draughts in this collection, of which roughly one-quarter relate to frigates. Thirty-eight of these ships belong to the Artois class and, according to the catalogue, ten of them represent Diana. But, we cannot say this is correct. Draught number 1883, the sheer draught, is the original Navy Board copy for building the class and has several projected modifications overdrawn on it-one of them for a thirty-six-gun version. The inside and outside planking expansions, under the draughts reference numbers 1884 and 1884A, remain mysteries. They are dated 'Deptford Yard 14 May 08' and as far as can be ascertained no ship of the class was ever in the state depicted. Circumstantial evidence in other fields points to them being academic exercises only. Many other channels have been explored and re-explored in order to obtain accurate and authentic information to present it to the readers. Some of the major ones are listed at the end of the Introduction under the heading 'Sources'. To list them all would require a further volume.

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The Battleship Yamato
   This work by Janusz Skulski provides the reader with all necessary info and interesting details of the Yamato ship. Many years ago, during the WW II, Yamato definitely proved to be a really formidable and serious opponent to any ship of the United States Navy Fleet based in the Pacific, being equipped with the heaviest armour of that time and largest 46cm guns, and having - just imagine - the greatest displacement ever. The book contains full descriptions of the construction and design of this vessel, covering all wartime modifications made to the ship - it contains hundreds of detailed drawings, diagrams and photos supplementing the text part and technical information - they were all included by the author with the intention to impress any model maker, naval historian and, in fact, any person interested in ships of the past. We all consider this publication a detailed tribute to one of the most remarkable and legendary vessels in the naval history. It is a must-have source for people interesting with this ship from a modeling as well as engineering and even historical perspective because of the amount and quality of the reference material contained inside. The views included in the book are rare and quite difficult to find.

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The Colonial Merchantman Susan Constant download free book, anatomy of the ship series publications, fleet history, naval architecture, sea
   This book by Brian Lavery aims to continue the world famous Anatomy of the Ship series and is dedicated to the Susan Constant  - the vessel which played maybe one of the most important roles in the world history. It shows the detailed look of the author at the construction and life of this merchant ship. Susan Constant was the lead vessel of the three which founded in Virginia colony in 1607 - and this was exactly how the first successful permanent English-speaking colony in America was established. She made her voyage across Atlantic Ocean 13 years before the May Flower, and, therefore, can definitely claim to have brought the founding fathers of the USA. This publication will be very useful for naval history enthusiasts as well as for ship modelers. In fact, this book is not too typical to the Anatomy of the Ship series in that the authors did not go too deep into technical details. They rather tried to "generalize" the line drawings of the ship science no actual records do exist for this one. However, the research work conducted by Lavery and the history are great and the book is very interesting to read even for the people outside of naval history - the way stories are told is really fascinating.

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The Battleship Fuso
   Before the famous A64-coded super-dreadnought battleship project has even been commenced, a big team consisting of the Imperial Navy naval architects visited Britain in order to assist in the building of the new Japanese battle cruiser Kongo being built at the famous Vickers ship construction yard. They offered all their shipbuilding expertise and technical skills to a British battle-cruiser project - it was based on the Lion class ships. The truly high importance and high value of the Japanese contribution to the British project was clearly significant, for the British ship designers and naval architects adopted many of the features of the Kongo ship in the battle-cruiser Tiger. The exchange of design knowledge worked both ways: the Japanese ship builders who went on to design the Fuso class battleships had gained full access to the very latest British project studies. However, instead of simply copying everything what they had observed during their trip to Great Britain, these specialists preferred to develop their own battleships that were to be superior to all contemporary vessels. This determination is the primary subject of the book presented to your attention...

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The 32-gun frigate Essex
   The aftermath of the Revolution was a time of great political and economic difficulty for the United States. The most serious threat to the new nation's trade came from an unexpected source: the pirate Barbary states of North Africa. Economic chaos dictated the sale of the remaining ships of the Continental Navy, while unprotected ships and seamen fell prey to the Dey of Algiers. Despite the raids by the Barbary pirates in 1785, Congress could not raise support for a permanent army or naval force. As attacks on shipping escalated, suggestions were made to comply with the demands of the Dey for tribute or to subsidize a European power to protect American trade. Portugal's blockade of the Straits of Gibraltar had confined the Dey's activities to the Mediterranean until October 1793, when a twelve-month imce was established and Portugal lifted her blockade. Only then did Congress decide to protect American shipping by authorizing the construction of six frigates with a law passed on 27 March 1794. Depredations upon United States' shipping and merchant seamen were not the only spur to action by the Congress. Attempts at neutrality in conflicts between the Dutch, British and French had proven futile. Without a navy to protect their interests, merchants in the United States were subject to soaring insurance costs, while at the same time losing ships and their cargoes; these merchants applied considerable pressure upon Congress for relief. Despite the peace treaty signed with Algiers in September 1795, Congress authorized the construction of three of the original six frigates, the United States, the Constitution and the Constellation. In November of the following year Congress suspended construction after an unsatisfactory peace was signed with the Pasha of Tripoli...

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The Aircraft Carrier Intrepid
   Laid down as a Heel carrier in 1941, USS Intrepid (CV11) was one of a class ol 24 vessels constructed during, and immediately alter, the Second World War. As such she belongs tо a remarkable group of ships - remarkable not for any great design innovation but for their proved effectiveness and reliability as warships and for the great size of the construction programmes of which they formed a part. In numbers of ships the Essex class was the largest class of fleet carriers ever constructed and as such could also claim to be the largest group of capital ships constructed during the steam age. The FY40 (Financial Year 1940) programme provided for 11, of which 5 - Essex (CV9), Yorktoun (CV 10), Intrepid (CV 11), Lexington (CV 16) and Bunker Hill (CV17) - were begun prior to the outbreak of war. The remaining 6, together with 2 more provided under FY41, and an additional 13 provided under the wartime FY42 (10 units) and FY43 (3 units) were laid down during the war. Of these ships no less than 17 had entered service by the end of the war while 7 were completed postwar and 2 cancelled. Another 6 ships were included in FY44 but these were subsequently cancelled and were never laid down. The size of this class, and indeed the great size ol the entire US war construction effort, not only reflected the enormous industrial capacity of the United States but also its ability to mastermind cooperative effort and the simplification of production requirements and methods. In other words, as might be expected from the country that produced the Ford motor car, it amounted to mass production. Early in the war it was decided to concentrate on the construction of existing warship designs, hence the Essex class represented the entire war production of fleet carriers. Another class, the Midways, was begun in 1943 but none saw service during the war. Cruisers were largely represented by the 6in gun Cleveland class (of which no less than 52 were ordered) and the 8in Baltimore class, destroyers by the Fletcher and Gearing classes and so on. By concentrating on such designs building yards could streamline production, resulting in some remarkably short construction times. Intrepid hersell was built in 20 months, while one Essex, the Franklin (CV13), was completed in just under 14 months...

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The 74-gun Ship HMS Bellona
   The ship to which the present release is dedicated, used to form the very backbone of the British battleships fleet. More than two hundred of them served with the Royal Navy, including those captured from other navies, and 74s took one of the leading parts in all the major naval battles in large numbers, and spent so many years in gruelling blockade service off such ports as Brest, Toulon, and Cadiz. The HMS Bellona was one of the earliest of these vessels, and one which served as a model for many of the other vessels; we shall note that, in addition to what is stated above, she was also one of the longest lived, for she served from 1760, when the 74 was first being introduced to the British Navy, until 1814, when the technology which made them obsolete was already in existence. Her service began brilliantly, when she was directly involved in defeating the French Courageux in a famous single-ship engagement. After that her service was a little bit disappointing, in that she missed two major actions, Copenhagen in 1801 and Strachan's action of 1805, through unfortunate circumstances. Nevertheless she saw much service during her fifty-four years, in the North Sea, Baltic, Atlantic and West Indies...

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The Submarine Alliance
   Warships, and submarines in particular, have always been the subject of considerable interest to both the general public and the warship enthusiast, and every year books appear covering the many aspects of their development and operation both during and between the wars. However, the purpose of this book, and indeed of the whole series, as the title suggests, is to look at the subject in greater depth, to trace the development of the design, and to detail the armament and machinery they contained. The A class were the only ocean-going class of British submarine designed during the last war and although completed too late to actually see any action, they embodied all of the developments made in British submarine design during the final years of conflict. There is little doubt that had the war continued longer they would have given excellent service in the waters for which they were designed. In fact, in the years following the war many of the class operated comfortably in both tropical and arctic waters, establishing new records for both surface and submerged endurance. To illustrate this, in 1953 HMS Andrew carried out the first ever submerged crossing of the Atlantic; and earlier, in 1947, Alliance spent a record 30 days submerged off the coast of Africa.

Category: ANATOMY OF THE SHIP SERIES | Views: 2354 | | Comments (0)

The battleship Dreadnought
   On 10 February 1906 the hull of the first all-big-gun battleship, hms Dreadnought, was launched at Portsmouth Dockyard. Over 6000 tons of material had been built into her since her laying down just nineteen weeks beforehand. Eight months later she went to sea for the first time for her preliminary steam trials and, although this did not mark her final completion, the production of a seagoing warship of 18,000 tons, and of a new type, in such a short period of time was a remarkable achievement. The speed with which she was built was the product of the need to evaluate her qualities at the earliest opportunity and, more importantly, to steal a march on foreign navies for her revolutionary design would, if successful, render existing battleship designs obsolete. She was, indeed, a great success and marked the beginning of a new era in battleship development; she gave her name to all subsequent vessels of the type, which became known as dreadnought battleships, or simply 'dreadnoughts'. This British coup was unusual for, in theory at least, the Royal Navy, with its enormous fleet, had the most to lose from the premature obsolescence of its battleships and had a tradition of not initiating revolutionary ideas for this very reason. That this was not the case on this occasion was due to the foresight of the recently-appointed First Sea Lord, the dynamic Admiral Sir John Fisher. He knew that other countries, in particular the United States, were progressing toward the all-big-gun concept and that such a ship would be built sooner rather than later. Another consideration was the general improvement in the building times in foreign yards, particularly in Germany, which threatened to undermine Britain's ability -enjoyed throughout the 1890s - to outbuild her rivals using the superior efficiency of her shipyards. Under these circumstances the development of a new type abroad could have seriously weakened the Royal Navy's dominant position; but if Britain took the lead it would at least provide a chance to begin rebuilding the battlefleet while others were still catching up. In fact, a substantial breathing space was obtained and Britain was to lay down a further three dreadnoughts before Germany laid down her first in June 1907. Even so, Germany was to complete thirteen against Britain's twenty by the outbreak of the War in 1914 leaving a margin of superiority well below that enjoyed in the pre-dreadnought period.

Category: ANATOMY OF THE SHIP SERIES | Views: 3391 | | Comments (0)

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