Book Review: The Warship Development and Design Series


by David K. Brown

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2010. Three volumes. Illus., diagr., tables, appends., gloss., notes., biblio., index. $32.95 each, paper. ISBN: Varies

The late naval historian David Brown (d. 2008), produced a number of important works on the history of the Royal Navy and on the design and development of British warships.  Over the last few years the Naval Institute, partnering with publishers in the U.K., has reissued his volumes on the Royal Navy in the ironclad and battleship eras.

Each volume opens with a review of the strategic, political, historical, economic, and technical conditions affecting Britain and the Royal Navy in the period covered.  While the focus is on British ironclads and battleships, smaller warships are not neglected, and the experiences of other navies are addressed, particularly as they affected design and technology. 

Highly detailed, the volumes not only cover design, construction, propulsion, protection, and armament, but also budgeting, maritime policy, fleet organization, tactics, operations, and more, with many fine details on the life of the Royal Navy.  These books are essential works for those interested in naval history and operations, and in capital ship design and development since the introduction of the ironclad warship.

Reviewer: A. A Nofi   

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