This is a nicely produced book and it is cheap to buy, but unfortunately its content is of limited interest to me personally. I am really an enthusiast for the larger surface warships, especially those built during the years preceding the Great War. This was Vickers most productive period, many very interesting ships being built for the RN and other navies, but sadly very little is to be found about them here.
In the mid 1890's 'Powerful' was a wonder of the age, but all we see of this huge cruiser is an end- on stern view from a distance. The best of the few pictures from those years are the one of the Russian armoured cruiser 'Rurik', one showing the Canopus class battleship 'Vengeance' at her launch and the fine picture on the dust cover of the super dreadnought 'Revenge'. But where is the Brazilian Battleship 'Sao Paulo'? What about the four large armoured cruisers and seven other battleships and battlecruisers that were commissoned into the Royal Navy? There are a very few photographs showing guns and their turret mountings but since the whole period up to 1918 is covered in just 19 of the 138 pages I cannot consider this a well balanced coverage. Hence only three stars.
The author shows a greater interest in small craft and submarines of the WW2 period and after. Of course, submarines are what the modern Vickers company specializes in. To me one submarine looks much like any other, but that is just my own view. If submersibles are your interest then you will doubtless enjoy this book: if not, you will probably be disappointed.
on 4 May 2015
Some time ago I spent a few very happy months on a natural gas processing plant just outside Barrow-in-Furness. Barrow itself may not be most attractive city in the world, but it does have some interesting industrial history, starting off with steel plants in the 1800s and then moving up the value chain to naval weaponry and eventually warship construction. I bought this book in the dockyard museum which I would recommend to anyone spending time in this area, if only because of its amazing shipmodels.
The book itself is just a picture book (all black and white); it starts before World War I when Vickers expanded their business and started building pre-Dreadnought battleships. To me this is a bit surprising - you'd think they would have started with torpedo boats or destroyers and then work their way up; in fact it was just the other way around (nowadays they just make submarines). Not that much one can say about a picture book, other than that the pictures are nice (if you like warships, obviously) and I cherish this book as a souvenir of my time in Barrow.
on 3 June 2015
I have an unusual point of view in reviewing this book in that I did not buy it for myself but, rather, for my terminally ill father, who had worked in Vickers for some years. In truth, this is not the kind of book I would buy for myself, but I knew my father would be interested in it. Whilst some reviews quibble about the photos selected and the quality of the reproduction I do not.
For its type I found this to be a well produced book and I know my father enjoyed reading it, taking him back to his younger days. Whilst I would prefer a book to go into greater detail, for a pictorial history this is an excellent book. (With regards the star rating I would actually have given it three and a half stars)>