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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent discourse on warship development in the ironcla
D K Brown is the country's foremost technical naval historian with a string of books and technical papers to his name. This work covers what many regard as the most interesting period of naval innovation, from 1860 to 1905. The transition of the world's navies from broadside ironclads to the devastating firepower of the Dreadnought is seen primarily from the aspect of...
Published on 5 Aug 2000 by ElGato

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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Focuses on detailed naval architecture of the Royal Navy.
Very detailed descriptions of the naval architecture of the Royal Navy from the introduction of the ironclad through to the Dreadnought. The details will be of interest to architects and constructors rather than the general reader. The text assumes a naval architect's background and vocabulary on the part of the reader. Mostly deals with capital ships in the Royal Navy...
Published on 20 Oct 1997


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent discourse on warship development in the ironcla, 5 Aug 2000
By 
ElGato "DM" (Bristol) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
D K Brown is the country's foremost technical naval historian with a string of books and technical papers to his name. This work covers what many regard as the most interesting period of naval innovation, from 1860 to 1905. The transition of the world's navies from broadside ironclads to the devastating firepower of the Dreadnought is seen primarily from the aspect of the Royal Navy. Developments in supporting craft is also extensively covered, in particular the rise of the cruiser and torpedo boat destroyer.
All engineering aspects are covered in a wealth of detail, from the development of the marine steam engine and the introduction of the steam turbine, to the fantastic changes in armament, the question of layout and the essential polarisation in design styles between the 'British' and 'French' styles which were eventually compared in action during the Russo Japanese War. Extensive pieces on the Spanish American and Russo Japanese wars show how a particular aspect of design stood up to action.
A commonly held belief is that the Admiralty fiercely resisted change. This myth is thoroughly dismissed ands instead the Royal Navy is shown to have been a hotbed of innovation, with no good idea (and, it must be said, one or two bad ones) refused.
There is a risk with a book such as this that the result will be a highly technical piece, of interest only to those 'in the know'. This is definitely not the case; 'Warrior to Dreadnought' is an exceptionally well written book which will appeal to the expert, whilst also bringing the subject alive to those with an interest but little or no technical knowledge (unlike the reviewer above I've found that my colleagues without a Constructor's background are well able to comprehend the technical content). Highly recommended.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of British warship design., 26 Feb 2004
As a writer, DK Brown is one the best and certainly the easiest/enjoyable to read on warship history. This work is no exception and covers in a logical manner, the history of the development of warships between 1860 (the first Iron clad warships) to 1905 (Just before the Dreadnought era). It was an era when science was finally beginning to play a major part in the development of these ships, often doubling their size and power every ten years.
The main object of this book is NOT to serve as a detailed reference on the designs themselves (the Conway series already serves this function) but to discuss how design decisions were made and whether they made the right one - both from a point of view of at the time and with hindsight. The Author was a warship designer himself and even served a few years in the Royal Navy proper, and so provides many insights, explaining much of the technology in a way that most of us will understand.
Not instantly visible is that this book is in fact part of a series covering warship design of the past 200 years. This work is clearly well researched and cross referenced and should be considered a must for the serious naval historian (into warship design) and anyone considering a career designing ships (as much re-inventing the wheel can be quickly avoided).
Some no doubt, may find this book pricey, but naval history, particulary that covering warship design, does not come much better than this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent survey of naval technology of the period, 9 Feb 2004
This book is part of a comprehensive series covering the development of warship design in Britain from the wooden sailing ship to modern days, written by a practitioner of the art.
The book is well laid out and cross-referenced, with excellent illustrations and diagrams, and would be of interest both to the serious naval designer wishing to expand his historical knowledge and to those with a passing interest in naval technology or naval history. It is quite technical in part, but written clearly and with direct reference to the actual ships being produced. It may be necessary to read associated historical summaries to understand more of the political, engineering and cultural background that drove many aspects of the developments, but the book stands alone extremely well.
A thoroughly enjoyable book to dip into or to read from cover to cover for those with an interest in naval technology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent easy to understand work, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 (Paperback)
First class manual in plain English produced by a man who obviusly knows and loves his subject. A facinating insite into the development of warships in the late 20th. century staem age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Warrior to Dreadnought, 28 Dec 2012
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Mr. David J. Gregory "freebooter" (todmorden, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 (Paperback)
As with all David Brown's books - extremely well researched and authoritative. He, and Raymond Burt are worthy inheritors' of the mantle of Dr. Saint Oscar Parkes!. As the author of 'The Lion and the Eagle' , I have found his books essential background reading for those, like myself, who are fascinated by the materiel aspects of the old Navy. I hope anyone reading my book, and wanting to delve deeper into the subject, will be encouraged to read this.
I believe you now have a policy of not permitting authors of studies on the same subject to comment on the works of their peers. If this review comes into that category, so be it, but I have no axe to grind, and my opinion is entirely straightforward.

David Gregory
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating insight into the Victorian Navy., 16 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 (Paperback)
This book is a fascinating insight into the development and construction of the Victorian Navy. From 1860 to 1906 and the advent of HMS Dreadnought, this book charts the technological advances in ship design, written by an author who actually designed warships for the Royal Navy! It is often quite technical but is presented as the learning process which would have been experienced by the actual ship designers of the time. D. K. Brown takes you through the development of concepts on stability, center of gravity, as well armour protection and naval gun development (I benefited from an understanding of Physics). Even more interesting is the diversity of other ship types examined, for example, the first submarines, torpedo boat destroyers and armoured cruisers. His knowledge of the subject was next to none, with original Royal Navy, shipyard and designer's notes referenced throughout. I'm reading a few more of Mr Brown's books :-)

The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906-1922
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, 13 April 2011
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This review is from: Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 (Paperback)
This is an exellent companion to other D K Brown books. What is evident upon reading this is that it is possible to comprehend the thought process behind the construction of these ships. As is often forgot, these ships were produced in a time of immense technical development, and as with today (our latest submarine comes to mind), by the time they slipped down the launchpad they were in the main obsolete. If this is factored in to Beattie's comments at Jutland, it is after reading this book possible to understand perhaps the eventualities. Brown's comments on Hood's torpedo tubes provides much to ponder and the books lateral approach is stimulating.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Focuses on detailed naval architecture of the Royal Navy., 20 Oct 1997
By A Customer
Very detailed descriptions of the naval architecture of the Royal Navy from the introduction of the ironclad through to the Dreadnought. The details will be of interest to architects and constructors rather than the general reader. The text assumes a naval architect's background and vocabulary on the part of the reader. Mostly deals with capital ships in the Royal Navy. Not enough detail on either the personalities of individuals behind the ships, ship engagements during the period, or developments in the ships of the Royal Navy's competitor nations. Interesting diagrams and photographs.
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Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905
Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 by D. K. Brown (Paperback - 30 July 2010)
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