Title BIRTH OF THE BATTLESHIP: BRITISH CAPITAL SHIP DESIGN 1870-1881.
Publisher Caxton, London, 2003, reprint.
Seller ID 23800
224 pp, 4to (11 1/2" H), hard cover in dust jacket. ISBN 1840675349 Profusely illustrated with b&w photographs, drawings, diagrams, plans. "The 1870s and 1880s have traditionally been seen as the 'Dark Ages' of British warship design, where techn ological conservatism and a lack of any definite design policy produced a confusing mix of ship types, with armament and machinery which were outmoded before the ships were even completed. This new book, however, is a powerful refutation of t h a t v i ew, expanding the scope of its study of the ships of this period beyond the narrowly technological to reveal the full range of strategic, logistical and administrative factors which influenced warship development, arguing that it is her e th at t h e or igins of the modern battleship can be found. The author gives an insight into the difficulties faced by warship designers in an age of rapid technological change, and sets out the valid strategic and technical reasons that lay beh in d s uch se em in gly 'reactionary' policies as the fitting of sails in cruising ironclads, and the Navy's retention of muzzle-loading guns well into the 1880s. Far from having no plan, it is shown that the warship designers of this period had a v ery clea r id ea of the types of ship required to meet the range of roles the Royal Navy was called upon to fulfill in defence of a global empire, and that the problems that the ships of this period had owed more to political, financial and admi nist rati ve pr essur es tha n an y lack of competance on the part of their designers." Dust jacket has some areas of minor edge wrinkling, one tiny tear archivally taped. Fine/Near Fine