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British Battleships 1919-1945 Hardcover – 30 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Seaforth Publishing; 2nd edition (30 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848321309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848321304
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 28.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Burt's work brings together a powerful combination of extensive photography, detailed large scale drawing, diagrams illustrating differences within classes, changes over time, and camouflage schemes. The most remarkable accomplishment of Burt's volumes is their success in bringing together policy, technology, evolution to face new challenges physical changes, and operational history accompanied by extraordinary and extensive imagery, they simultaneously meet many of the needs of historians of technology, researchers in naval history, and model makers without compromising the quality of work. The publishers are congratulated on bringing these important works back into print - they fill a major need. Nautical Research Journal

About the Author

RAY BURT has researched the design, construction and service histories of British battleships for many years, and has also assembled one of the most outstanding collections that exists of photographs of the ships. He is also an accomplished draughtsman and illustrator, and many of his superb drawings appear in this book.

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Customer Reviews

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Cook on 21 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other reviews have given excellent descriptions of this magnum opus, so I will just compare it with the original 1993 edition that I was lucky enough to acquire at that time- can that really have been 19 years ago? There are probably other owners of the original book wondering whether or not they should buy this new one.

The new edition is in a somewhat larger format: It does not appear to be very much bigger, but in combination with 18 extra pages it actually makes a remarkable difference. There are some 70 or so additional photographs, many showing 'on deck' scenes and some replacing previous ones with similar but better shots. The overhead view of Warspite (surely the greatest of all British 20th century battleships) on page 98 in my opinion takes the prize amongst the new pictures. Moreover, it is remarkable how great the impact can be of simply increasing the size of an existing picture and slightly improving the reproduction. Take, for example, the shot of Hood at sea, pages 306- 7 in the old book, and presented as a full double page 'spread' on pages 314- 15 in the new one. The latter is quite spectacular- perhaps the finest in the book- yet I hardly noticed it in the old edition.

The text does not seem to have been much changed, and of course like others I cannot understand the continuing absence of Vanguard, our last battleship, but the format is more modern and attractive. The excellent drawings are all much the same as before, but sometimes appear in rather different locations.

All considered I'm very pleased I bought this new edition- it provides a fascinating comparison with the old one and transforms what was always a very fine book into a quite outstanding one- and at £29 from Amazon it is almost ridiculously good value.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Admiral2525 on 6 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The 1993 first edition of this book by R. A. Burt has long eluded me, the result of the hundreds of dollars that a second hand copy demands. As a long time battleship (BB) and battlecruiser (BC) enthusiast, I always felt that my collection was incomplete without this particular book. When this new revised edition was available for pre-order, I had no hesitation ordering months before its publication. At the price it is a no brainer. In fact, I ordered copies from both the Amazon site and the Amazon UK site to make sure that I would get it at the earliest possible time (and I have no intention to return any of the copies). Now that the book has arrived, I am very pleased with my decision, as this book is an authoritative reference on British BBs and BCs for the period after World War One.

In my opinion, this is one of the two masterpieces on this subject, the other being Alan Raven and John Roberts' (R&R) British Battleships of World War 2: The Development and Technical History of the Royal Navy's Battleships and Battlecruisers from 1911 to 1946. Other works pale in comparison. The two books have many things in common, in particular their focus on the design of the ships and their changes over time. Thus, it does not surprise that the contents of the two books overlap quite a bit, and both contain a lot of excellent information, photos and line drawings. Nevertheless, I still believe any BB/BC enthusiast like me could not be wrong getting both Burt's book and R&R's book.

Both books cover Renown, Repulse and Hood in addition to the Queen Elizabeths, Royal Sovereigns, Rodney, Nelson, and King George Vs.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 April 2012
Format: Hardcover
The original version of this classic work was first published in 1993 and was so well received was soon out of print. This revised version contains no fewer than 70 new photographs - many of which have not been previously published.

As one who also conducts professional research into historic ships, my first impression of this work was an immediate admiration of the outstanding detail which is included. Having now studied much of the content, I have concluded this is most probably `the' most comprehensive work on the subject of the British battleship ever produced and I really must congratulate both author and publisher on a fine product.

The minor differences between two sister ships are what makes those ships different from each other. In addition, the changes made during a refit are often sufficient to produce an almost different vessel altogether. As an example of such differences, across pages 102-103 are two line drawings of HMS Valiant - from 1924 and 1940 respectively. Of course, 16 years is a long time in the life of any warship and these two images reveal two virtually different battleships altogether. Alongside, the author has also included line drawings of other significant features depicting changes and other minor details such as; 1925 small RF fitted, 1932/33 training catapult and aircraft added, 1943 long upper yard fitted and so forth.

Elsewhere we find line drawings of most, if not all the ships covered by this book, cross sections, anti-torpedo bulges, armour layout, various types of early radar aerial, a potted history of battleship camouflage and much more besides.
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