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By Peter Padfield

‘Well written and balanced in judgement and makes reliable use of the first revealed fabric within the Naval Library… especially it merits specific awareness for its author’s specialized wisdom of the advance of naval gunnery and fireplace control.’
Times Literary complement

‘The Battleship period will improve the author’s acceptance as an expert on naval affairs. It describes the evolution, use and eclipse of the battleship.’
Lloyds’ checklist

‘With crisp scholarship, Peter Padfield lines the improvement of the battleship from crusing ships very similar to Nelson’s which have been geared up with auxiliary steam engines and had iron armour held on their aspects, to the final word: the japanese battleship, Yamato, an incredible of greater than 70,000 lots firing 18 inch shells greater than 20 miles.’
Books and Bookmen

‘A attention-grabbing documentary account of specific curiosity to the armchair strategist.’
Booklist

‘A necessary addition to anyone’s library that wants to profit extra of the increase and fall of the battleship.’
Good publication advisor

The battleship reigned perfect at sea from the 1860s to the Nineteen Forties, the final word image of naval energy and nationwide delight, queen at the naval chessboard.

This e-book describes its evolution from the wood man-of-war plated with iron armour to the good metal leviathan of the second one international warfare, and its final displacement as arbiter of naval energy via the airplane provider.

while the writer explains how technique and conflict strategies replaced in keeping with the mounting of ever greater weapons with higher variety and penetrative energy, and the improvement of threatening new weapon platforms, fairly torpedoes, torpedo boats, mines and submarines; and he explores the chilling truth of motion with bright descriptions of significant naval battles together with the Yalu within the first Sino-Japanese warfare, Tsushima within the Russo-Japanese struggle, Jutland within the First international battle and lots of lesser identified engagements.

The pioneer naval architects and engineers and the commanders who fought those nice ships in motion, Togo, Jellicoe, Beatty, Scheer, Hipper, Cunningham, Lee, Oldendorf locate their approach certainly into this soaking up, usually scary historical past of what was the arbiter of naval strength.

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Example text

Anson is known to have smartened his squadron tactics and gun drill by constant practice, yet when in 1747 he chased and took a French squadron of less than a third his force under de la Jonquière, he suffered more than double the French casualties. Clearly the best French were equal to the best British at this date. But if we move on half a century to the 'triumphant' period of the British Navy, when Howe, Duncan, Nelson deliberately broke fleet line, the figures show what everyone knows in any case, that the French were not equal, nor anywhere near equal to the British in fighting efficiency.

4 Thirteen years later in the Second Anglo-Dutch war, the English were still dictating stand-off artillery battles. A French observer, de Guiche, wrote: Nothing equals the beautiful order of the English at sea.  . 5 These early fleet line battles were not static, parallel exchanges, but affairs of manoeuvre, the lines cutting through and crossing each other in a follow-my-leader struggle for the windward position, known as the weather gage. The advantages of the weather gage were that the great clouds of smoke from the guns blew clear downwind instead of obscuring the decks, that the guns tended to depression rather than elevation and so were generally more effective against the enemy hulls, and—perhaps the main point—that the ship or fleet with the 'weather gage' controlled the range of the action, as the leeward vessels could not claw up to them against the wind.

5 This was not really tested in the Crimean War which followed Sinope as the Russian commander-in-chief, a soldier, overruled his admirals' plans to attack the Anglo—French expeditionary force by sea, ordering him instead to sink his ships to block the harbour of Sevastopol and send his seamen and gunners to reinforce the forts. The Anglo-French fleet subsequently bombarded the forts, but accomplished nothing beyond dismounting half a dozen guns, receiving far greater damage in return from red hot shot and shell which started fires, forcing vessels, including the British flagship, a fine new screw ship-of-the-line, to withdraw to extinguish the flames.

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