Every so often, I pick up a book which I just know is a 5 Star product before I even open the first page. This was one of those occasions.
Launched in 1860, HMS Warrior was the world's first iron-hulled ocean-going warship and is as important to the history of naval warfare and the development of warships as any other ship still afloat today. Sadly, the UK does not have a great record when it comes to preserving important ships - especially warships and, as I have said so many times before, had they been built of bricks and mortar, many would be listed as protected buildings. But, of course, they are not and most are scrapped. On this occasion, however, I am delighted to inform those who may not be aware HMS Warrior was fully restored in Hartlepool and now forms part of the incredible attractions at Portsmouth's historic naval dockyard.
In 1860 HMS Warrior was the last word in revolutionary design. As a frigate she had 4½ inch armour and rifled, breech-loading weapons. She immediately caused Napoleon to postpone his challenge to British naval supremacy and went on to set the standards other countries could only hope to emulate. In this book, author and acclaimed naval historian Andrew Lambert compliments this fine ship with an equally fine job of work. Commencing with a full history of the ship, including the origins which led to her design and build, we are then treated, chapter by chapter, to the most complete appraisal of the ship's service, her eventual reconstruction and detailed descriptions of her; Hull, armour, guns, machinery, rigging and all other detail before we read of her triumphal return to Portsmouth. An additional appendix includes all specifications.
The book is exceedingly well illustrated with images which include historic and recent photographs and lithographs of several ships in addition to Warrior, plus various personalities and so forth. In addition there are several tables, charts, cross sections and line drawings of the ship and comparisons with other vessels. Personally, I always enjoy studying historic photographs and I congratulate the author on the fine selection reproduced in this work. Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that the combination of photographs which show the step-by-step process of restoration coupled with those depicting the finished ship will cause a great many people to visit Portsmouth (England) with a copy of this book firmly in hand.
And if that is not enough, I found the entire story of this ship to be an excellent read. What more can I say except - do enjoy, because I know you will.