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The World Encyclopedia of Battleships and Cruisers: A Complete Illustrated History of International Naval Warships from 1860 to the Present Day Shown in Over 1200 Archive Photographs [Hardcover]

Captain Peter Hore , Bernard Ireland
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 Jan 2011 World Encyclopedia of...
This is a complete illustrated history of international naval warships from 1860 to the present day shown in over 1200 archive photographs. It presents an illustrated history of battleships and cruisers from 1860 to the present day, featuring informative and expert descriptions of over 400 ships detailing their construction, function and history. It includes three fascinating directories for both battleships and cruisers, each focusing on a particular time period: pre-World War I, World War I, then World War II and beyond. Specification boxes provide at-a-glance information about each ship's country of origin, launch date, size, weight, power, performance and more. It features over 1000 colour and black-and-white archive photographs from naval and military sources worldwide, many rarely seen before in publication. This meticulously researched and illustrated book is split into two sections, the first focusing on the history of the battleship, and the second on the cruiser. Each section includes a comprehensive history and three chronological directories featuring the major vessels of that era. Containing a huge volume of information, together with a unique collection of more than 1000 color and black and white archive photographs, this book provides both enthusiasts and historians with everything they will want to know about battleships and cruisers through history.

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The World Encyclopedia of Battleships and Cruisers: A Complete Illustrated History of International Naval Warships from 1860 to the Present Day Shown in Over 1200 Archive Photographs + The World Encyclopedia of Submarines, Destroyers & Frigates + The World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Carriers and Naval Aircraft
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Lorenz Books (3 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754820831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754820833
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3.8 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 792,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Captain Peter Hore served worldwide in the Royal Navy from 1962 to 2000. During the Falklands war he was joint logistics controller on Ascension Island, and he has headed both the Royal Navy's applied research programme and its non-technical research programmes. Peter is now associate editor of Warships International Fleet Review, op-ed writer for Newsday in New York and obituarist for The Daily Telegraph in London. Bernard Ireland spent 30 years in ship research for the Admiralty in the Royal Naval Scientific Service. He has worked as an illustrator for the shipping industry, producing impressions and technical cutaways for companies such as Canadian Pacific and Blue Star Lines, and has produced illustrations for the Port of London Monthly and technical posters for the Science Museum, Kensington. He is the author of over 25 specialist naval books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The World Encyclopedia of Battleships & Cruisers 13 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have a number of books written solely or jointly by Bernard Ireland which normally are excellent for content. However, whilst this book is good in most respects there is a major omission of a complete class of Soviet/Russian Federation nuclear cruisers launched in 1980 of the Frunze/Kirove class which is a great disappointment. Just wonder was it not included due to space constraints or just missed by proof reader or the printers. If warships interest you do not be put off by this omission as the rest of the book is superb and very good value for money.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful reference, great price. 25 July 2011
By Swift - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I haven't read the other reviews, but in aggregate I see that this book has 3.5/5 stars at the time i write this, which is ludicrously low for a book of this quality. I sure hope that this isn't due to some pedant marking it artificially low because he (and it's always a he) found some fault with some technical detail or another about his favorite ship. I honestly haven't read the other reviews yet, but i'd be shocked if this isn't the case.

'The World Encyclopedia of Battleships and Cruiers' is a catalogue of every major and minor battleship and cruiser class since the mid 19th century or so. On average, a page is given to each class - a bit more for the imporant onces, a bit less for the lesser ones. This amount of space is enough to provide a photo/illustration or two, a brief history, some sense of where the class fit in to overall developments in naval construction, notable features, and disposition. The unifying thread throughout is the conversational analysis that takes place--when considered in concert with the overall histories of the overall types in the book, what you get is a wonderful overview of the histories of battleships and/or cruiers (the two halves of the book are effectively separate).

Indeed, I suspect that this book started as two previously published books. I have the 'aircraft carriers' version of this series' predecessor, soon to be republished as 'aircraft carriers and naval aircraft.' i reviewed that highly as well, with my only criticism of it being that it was a bit british biased. the same holds true here, though it seems less so here.

if you are looking for detailed information on a specific well known ship class, say, the iowa class, then this book is not for you. if, on the other hand, you're looking for a general history of battleships and/or cruisers to allow you to gain insight and 'feel' into things like the makeup of rozhdentvsenski's baltic fleet at tsuhima, then this book does yeoman's work. it's also good bedtime reading - you're sure to find something you didn't know far better than you could wasting your time reading wikipedia for such things.

the physical size of the book is smaller than expected, but, actually, pleasantly so. there's a lot of info here, and of course there may be some mistakes, but overall it is surely excellent. i look forward to the next two books in this series.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaves You Wanting... 10 Jun 2011
By Ringmaster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a volume that will wet your appetite but leave you wishing for more. Very dense and heavy for such a compact size (7"x9"x512 pages), Mr. Hore and Mr. Ireland's book would have benefitted greatly by being printed in a format at least 50% larger than it is. Most of the vast collection of photographs reprinted herein are too small to make out alot of detail, and disappoint. Also the lack of line drawings of any kind is regrettable. Technical data on the myriad ships is kept very basic, with brief historical anecdotes on each class of ship and somewhat longer articles on historical events and battles involving particular ships throughout various time periods. But the immensely broad scope of the subject covered precluded anything really detailed or indepth on any one particular ship, understandibly.

While a huge number of various ships and classes are covered, none are really very satisfying beyond the briefest glimpse with only a little elaboration before going on to the next. So much to cover, the pictures are too small to properly appreciate, and the text is also small enough to cause some difficulty for extended periods of reading. There is evidence that better proofing of the text would have eliminated some typographical errors (on page 106, Braunschweig class, "...with extra boilers and three funnels, they produced a speed of 8 knots, which was one knot faster the Wittelsbachs and Kaisers." The previous page had listed the Kaiser class speed to be 17 knots.

As a naval enthusiast and admirer of the ships of the past, I found much of interest in this volume and enjoyed the many more obscure entries, brief as they were. This book covers ALOT of ships. I am not an naval expert or maritime scholar, so I am undoubtedly more easily pleased than a more 'professional' and discernng scholar of naval history.

Larger format, larger photographic reproductions, some line drawings showing top view layouts and silhouettes would have made this a much more useful and enjoyable volume. Dividing it into two seperatly published volumes covering battleships in one and cruisers in the other would have made more sense to me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good generic reference, but biased 12 Aug 2012
By Yu-Jin Chia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a generic reference book which covers most of the major warship classes from the ironclad era to WW2. A few post-war missile cruisers are also mentioned, but it largely focuses on gun-armed ships. Most of the entries are 1-2 pages, and provide a brief history and discussion of the design or advances of the particular class. There's a few photographs or paintings of each ship, a good number of which are color. Each class has a brief stat box including build date, dimensions, machinery/speed, armament, and crew complement. The cruiser sections also state endurance and protection. Battlecruisers are included, and are lumped in with the battleships.

The book doesn't seem to follow any logical order, so it's hard to find a particular ship without the index. It's subdivided into sections for pre-dreadnoughts, WW1, and WW2 for battleships, and pre-WW1/post WW1 for cruisers. There is some general history and topics of interest describing both ship types. The pages are pretty thick, and the book itself is hardbound and of good quality.

Other reviewers have noted a British slant from the authors, and it's certainly true- in fact I'd go so far as to say they're downright biased. I couldn't help but notice that the authors repeatedly downplay the weaknesses of RN ships such as the lack of flash-tightness in the WW1 battlecruiser designs and have sections dedicated to things like the sinking of the General Belgrano in the Falklands War (1982, way beyond the scope of anything else in this book) while barely mentioning key events like the sinking of Force Z off Malaya. Probably because that casts the RN in a slightly less favorable light, hm? I also liked how the very first entry, about the groundbreaking French ironclad Gloire, is half taken up by assertions that HMS Warrior was better in every way. Yeah, I know she was, but couldn't that have waited until Warrior's entry on the next page?! Come on, guys...

There are some errors and otherwise incorrect information, especially regarding the non-British ships. For example, in the Colorado-class entry the author says that both Maryland and West Virginia were sunk at Pearl Harbor and raised. That's incorrect, only West Virginia was sunk. The Deutschland-class are listed among the battleships, but they aren't battleships by even a loose definition of the term. Additionally, most of the specs given are as-built, not how they ended service. This is fine for the most part, but makes the work a bit incomplete since some ships are mentioned again as modernized, and others (which were also comprehensively updated) are not. There is also often no stats given for armor protection or endurance in the battleships/battlecruisers section, which is a bit odd.

Generally speaking, I'd say this is still a good book for those interested in the subject and it has a lot of nice pictures. It's also a whole lot cheaper than some other similar books, so makes a good 'poor man's guide' to classic big-gun warships.

Pro:
Lots of pictures
Not super expensive, good quality binding
Good general information about most of the important ships and classes spanning from ironclads to WW2 (a big period!)

Con:
Written by Brits, clearly for Brits.
No line-drawings. Would have been nice.
No protection/endurance stats for battleships.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reference material. 30 Nov 2012
By john clemens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is well detailed on the history and development of each class of ship, photos are good, only thing missing is a detailed drawning of each ship. Overall an excellent book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, But Not Current 16 Jan 2012
By KCK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Opinions regarding the differant classes of warships given in the book are from a British perspective. They are very good, but a bit slanted when it comes to some of those warships used in WW II.
Although claiming to be "up to the present time", the book's coverage is not. Warship classes planned or commissioned after ca. 1970 are rarely, if ever covered. The Falklands War of 1982 is briefly mentioned. All-in-all, a very good job of discussing battleships & cruisers 1870-1970.
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