'Outstanding quality of reproduction ... Willis accompanies the images with incisive text' Navy News.
From the Inside Flap
The Battle of Jutland, 1916: two huge fleets face each other across the North Sea in the largest naval engagement of the First World War. In one dramatic photograph, smoke billows from the mortally wounded Queen Mary; in another, the German battlecruiser Seydlitz lies crippled by a final salvo from the British ship. Together these images capture the triumph and tragedy of this momentous battle that was to turn the course of the Great War. Fighting Ships 1850-1950 presents a stunning collection of 150 large-scale paintings, drawings, photographs and ship plans that tell the story of naval warfare from the first iron and steam warships to the deadly U-boats and aircraft carriers of the Second World War. Over these 100 years, the most significant naval engagements are dramatically depicted in striking detail - the bombardment of Sveaborg during the Crimean war, the battles of Tsushima and Jutland, the evacuation of Dunkirk, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, and the D-Day landings, as well as the Japanese surrender - revealing the glory and exhilaration of the last great age of marine warfare. Arranged chronologically, the ships illustrated include HMS Warrior, the first iron-hulled, heavily armoured warship; the mighty HMS Dreadnought; the cruiser Aurora which ignited the Russian revolution; the Graf Spee, under attack on the River Plate; the formidable German battleship Bismarck; the British aircraft carriers HMS Argus and Illustrious, and the Japanese giant Akagi, amongst many others. This remarkable collection not only showcases some of the greatest naval artists of the period, including John Wilson Carmichael, Gustave Bourgain, McClelland Barclay, Kobayashi Kiyochika, William Lionel Wyllie, and the official British war artist Richard Eurich, but also features powerful photographs, often taken by the sailors themselves. Each image is accompanied by Sam Willis's expert commentary, shedding light on the key naval conflicts of the era and the breathtaking complexity of the modern warship, as well as the stories of heroic commanders, and life - and death - on board ship for the ordinary sailor.
From the Back Cover
A magnificent record of the last great age of sea warfare in 150 striking images. “A black vicious ugly customer as ever I saw, whale-like in size, and with as terrible a row of incisor teeth as ever closed on a French frigate” Charles Dickens on HMS Warrior
About the Author
Sam Willis was awarded a PhD in Naval History for his thesis on Command and Tactics in the 18th-century Navy. He has lectured at Bristol University and at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and has consulted on maritime painting for Christie's and the BBC. Sam spent 18 months as a Square Rig Able Seaman, sailing the tall ships used in the Hornblower television series and Channel 4's award-winning film Shackleton. He is the author of Fighting at Sea in the Eighteenth Century: The Art of Sailing Warfare and Fighting Ships 1750-1850 (Quercus).