Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
A worthy addition to any naval enthusiast's library
on 29 May 2013
I have not read any of Buxton's books, but have Johnston's earlier book "Clydebank Battlecruisers", and anyone expecting a similar type of book will be surprised and delighted. "The Battleship Builders" is less a book about ships and more a book about the industries, builders, and technologies required to build these ships. After an introduction and brief historical overview from 1860 to 1945, the book has chapters on the builders, building the ships, the facilities required, power plants, armaments, and armour and steel production. It finishes with chapters on exports, financing, and the work force and skills required to construct the ships.
Each chapter is fairly technical or technical enough for a non-naval engineer such as myself. However, they give a fair idea of the sophistication and at times difficulties encountered in building these warships. My favourite chapters were on power plants, armaments, and armour production, but even reading about the ancillary equipment required to build these ships was interesting. As you would expect there are numerous photographs, tables, and diagrams - some of which I have seen before. Sadly, some of the diagrams such as those of HMS Agincourt's 12-inch turret on page 192 are too small to make out the fine detail. However, this should not put anyone off buying the book
Nevertheless, this book is a fine addition to the library of anyone interested in these ships, and well worth the price.