Top positive review
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A welcome addition to complete a classic trilogy
on 12 November 2013
I have the other two volumes in this series, and Burt's recently revised edition of British Battleships 1889-1904 is a more than welcome addition to the series. The book is laid out in the same way as the previous volumes with an introduction, followed by chapters on the design and history of ships from the Royal Sovereign Class of 1889 to the Lord Nelson Class of 1904. The text outlines the design strategy behind each class, and strengths and weakness of each. Particularly interesting are the difference between the classes of ship. Some were incremental advances on their predecessors, other others significant steps forward. Having read the book, I find it interesting that Burt rated the Lord Nelson class highly citing they would be significant and powerful opponents of the earliest dreadnoughts at ranges under 10000 yards. I had always considered this class inferior simply because the ships were classed as pre-dreadnoughts.
The book has sufficient photographs, drawings, plan views, elevations, and sections of each ship to keep those interested in such details happy. Some are in colour too, such as those for camouflage schemes and station colours. In addition, there are tables to keep all but the most obsessed happy. The photographs in particular are well reproduced, and although I am not a great fan of ships of this period, I found myself thinking some of them were actually quite handsome. I think the book is more likely to appeal to generalists such as me who have no deep knowledge of naval engineering or the history of that period. However, modellers should find the photographs and plans useful too, and I am sure specialist readers with a deeper knowledge of naval engineering and history than I have will find much of interest.
Overall, I think anyone who is interested in warships, and ships of this period in particular, would find this book a welcome addition to their library.