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on 16 February 2004
This book continues the excellent series on warship development in the RN. Whereas in previous volumes, the author could use his insight and experience to cast a lot of new light (at least for non-expert readers like me), this volume describes the period he was actually working in the MoD. At times the limitations imposed by Official Secrets (and, no doubt, loyalty to former colleagues) are painfully clear.
Usually, Brown goes over very well-worn ground with a fresh approach that I find very rewarding, but here there is much less novelty whilst the subject matter is no less well-worn. I'm still glad I bought this book, but it isn't the best in the series.
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on 1 September 2012
I was immensely looking forward to this book when it was first published in 2003, but was slightly disappointed when I got my copy. I suspect that the personal involvement of DK Brown as a ship designer during the period covered has hindered rather than helped the book. The book is also quite short - nominally 208 pages but with about 190 of actual content, and this is further reduced by the B&W photos which often take up most two pages. The book really only covers designs up to the 1970's - it has a few pages called a 'Glimpse of the Future' and 'The Future Aircraft Carrier' but they are already very dated. The book is useful as an overview of the development of RN warship designs from 1945 to the '70's - but it's certainly not the definitive work. Pending that appearing, books by Norman Friedman offer a very valuable supplement in regards to RN post-WW2 aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers.
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on 25 February 2004
This book delves into the history of Royal Navy warship design since 1945. It starts off be briefly mentioning projects afoot at the end of WWII before moving onto the early postwar proposals and rebuilds, and then followed by warship design from the 1950s onwards in their various categories by type.
Parts of the book such as the final WWII programs have been covered in detail elsewhere (including its previous sister volumn 'Nelson to Vangaurd') while the rest covers much new ground talking about the various warship proposals, partly from the authors experience and partly from the little information that has been leaked officially.
Even given official restrictions, I personally feel that the volumn could have been nearly twice as thick as what it was (it is a little thinner than the previous volumns from the series - 'Nelson to Vangaurd', 'The Grand Fleet' and 'Warrior to Dreadnought'). There were so many new and un-discovered projects in there that one was left begging for further basic information such as Dimensions, Displacements etc. The line drawings are all very nice, but since many are new and not mentioned elsewhere then even an appendix dedicated to their particulars would have been welcomed. Sadly for further information on a design, one is forced to trace the original source for details.
Despite this complaint, the book covers much undiscovered ground and will make a welcome addition to the postwar naval historian, certainly a good companion or compliment with Eric Groves 'Vangaurd to Trident'.
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on 10 September 2014
As with all David Brown's work this was excellent. I did not know just how advanced were the RN designs of the 50's & 60's & how complex was the design process. An excellent read.
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on 12 April 2016
Interesting read.
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on 15 May 2013
I'm not sure if this is a second edition or a reprint of the original book from 2003 by Chatham Publishing. The original cover was of HMS Dreadnought being launched, this edition shows a Type 21 Frigate. I only mention it because I buy books on Royal Navy subjects and people buy them as gifts for me and so could easily have got caught out, as what appears to be a new book, I already have!
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