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British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War (Anglais) Relié – 1 décembre 2009


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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Stops just as we get there! 18 décembre 2009
Par Ned Middleton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The Frigate may have been around in the days of Nelson but not the Destroyer. Towards the end of the 19th century, Britain's mastery of the seas remained uncontested. Not since the days of Trafalgar (1805) had any navy or combined navies dared to threaten that supremacy. These, however, were years of great change with the arrival of the Dreadnought battleship making the entire British Fleet obsolete at a stroke. Other nations could now build their own ships at the same rate as Great Britain and, therefore, finally challenge the one country they all wished to see removed from power.

Then came the motorised torpedo. This device could be fired from a very small vessel and carry sufficient explosive to sink the largest warships afloat. By comparison to the money, time, resources and technology required to produce a single Battleship, the torpedo and, most important of all, the means of delivering that weapon to its intended target, was relatively inexpensive. Consequently, small craft capable of the high speeds required to get close enough to deliver the torpedo were born. Torpedo-catchers, Torpedo Gunboats and even the Torpedo-boat Destroyer were some of the names used until the latter was finally reduced to "Destroyer" and a whole new type of craft entered the Navies of the world. As a type of ship (not to be confused with "Class." There are different classes of Destroyer, just as there are different classes of Aircraft Carrier), the development and continual improvement of all aspects of the Destroyer was far more rampant within the Royal Navy as she sought to defend and protect her role as "Ruler of the waves." This is the story of that development and of the vessels which were introduced along the way.

Author Norman Friedman tells this story from the earliest concept through to the beginning of WW2. I have deducted one star for two reasons. Firstly, he concludes his account just as WW2 was beginning. I would have preferred the work to have ended either in 1938 - just as Europe was approaching those war years, or in 1945, allowing the reader to evaluate the results of all those improvements and developments against how each class of Destroyer fared in action. For me, this "premature" ending creates its own confusion. For example, a very popular wreck dive in Malta comprises the remains of HMS Maori - a Tribal class Destroyer built by Fairfield in 1937. When I came across a reference to an HMS Maori undertaking trials in 1912 (page 84), therefore, I took an immediate interest and consulted the index to access all entries for this ship. "This" HMS Maori is also described as a Tribal class Destroyer built by Denny and launched in 1909. Towards the end of the book are details of other ships from 1942 and further references to as late as 1944. Whilst I was previously unaware of the existence of two "Tribal" classes of destroyer - albeit many years apart (most unusual for any Navy), I now find the subject is adequately covered in other works. My 1937 Maori, however, is not mentioned in this book at all when other topics from 7 years after her launch are included. Whilst I may have personally learned a very valuable lesson, I cannot help but feel something is missing in this work.

Amongst the excellent selection of photographs, I particularly enjoyed the images of the earlier boats. Sadly, and "yet" again, none of these, as far as I am aware, were ever preserved for posterity! This is especially so with those which look like they were nothing more than a large torpedo (with funnel) themselves.

In summary, this is still an excellent product. Friedman's meticulous research and detailed analysis coupled with an excellent selection of illustrations, line drawings and photographs, combine to create the complete history of the evolution of the British Destroyer from original concept to the beginning of WW2. It is, therefore, highly recommended for those with an interest and is one of those books to which I shall continually return in the years to come.

NM
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A seminal contribution to personal, academic, and community library Military Studies reference collections 11 janvier 2010
Par Midwest Book Review - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It could well be argued that Great Britain, as the premier sea power as a global empire, began its decline after World War II when the U.S. achieved its own world-wide naval preeminence. In "British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War, military history and naval analyst Norman Friedman presents his many years of research in providing an original and meticulous history of the British Royal Navy's combat ship, the destroyer. Beginning with its predecessors and prototypes from the 1880s through the First World War and on to the 1930s before turning the focus on British destroyers during the Second World War, this compendium is superbly enhanced with numerous photographs as well as accurately detailed ship plans drawn by A. D. Baker III. Of special note is the development of the torpedo as both an offensive and defensive naval weapon and hallmark of destroyer armaments. Of considerable interest is the history of how the British utilized American provided destroyers. With a select bibliography, extensive notes, a Data List of ship specifications, a listing of the ships with their building dates and ultimate fates, and a comprehensive index, "British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War" is a seminal contribution to personal, academic, and community library Military Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Definitive Study of pre-WW2 British destroyer design history 7 janvier 2010
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
There is no doubt that Norman Friedman belongs to the foremost naval analysts in the world. His work on individual ship types of the USN belongs among the classical reference sources for all students of naval history and naval operations. It is with the greatest pleasure that I welcome Dr. Friedman's foray into the realm of Royal Navy. The now complete, two volume set devoted to RN's destroyers ("British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War" and "British Destroyers & frigates: The Second World war and After" BRITISH DESTROYERS AND FRIGATES: The Second World War and After) is unquestionably the most authoritative analysis of the development and employment of these ships currently available anywhere. It is also the first work of this type that fills the gap left by Edgar March's classic "British Destroyers: 1892 - 1953" British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892-1953; Drawn by Admiralty Permission From Official Records & Returns, Ships' Covers and Building Plans]. Friedman expands the field by providing details unavailable to March, adds a wealth of new information, and brings the history of British destroyer development to the present day.

The first volume of the series (which, curiously, emerged as the follow up on ships constructed during WW2) is devoted to the era between the earliest stages of destroyer development to the last pre-war "I" and "H" classes. The volume also includes the analysis of the wide range of WW2 conversions of the aging "V" and "W" ships, and of the modifications to the destroyers acquired from the USN under the "Lend and Lease" programme ("Town" class. While the earliest destroyers received handsome treatment by David Lyon in his "The First Destroyers"[[ASIN:184560010X The First Destroyers, Friedman provides the reader with the fascinating history of the development of WW1 classes, and a thorough analysis of seemingly very similar ships constructed between the two wars (A-I/H classes). Probably for the first time since March, the diffrences among individual classes are carefully described, and the development of these ships from the relatively simple "As" to fully capable "Hs" is carefully studied.

As expected from Friedman's books, both this and the companion volume are filled with often rarely seen photographs which, together with the informative captions, provide the essential visual support of the text. Superb drawings by A.D. Baker II day greatly enhance the informative aspect of the two volumes, making both the major reference source not only for naval professionals and buffs, but also for modelers.

The text is written in traditional Friedman's style. It is crisp, lucid, and conveys often complicated information directly and clearly. In short, it is a book one reads with the greatest pleasure, and one to be frequently returned to not only when authoritative reference is required, but also for the very pleasure of once again leafing through the pages of this superb volume and its companion. It is to be hoped that having entered the world of the Royal Navy, Dr. Friedman will continue his work on other types of RN vessels, and offer us a similar set that he has written about the vessels of the United States Navy.

In the end, one must also commend the Naval Institute Press . After a series of rather sub-standard publications, the present one returns USNI back to its customary level of excellence in editing and production. The volume (and its companion) have the required, large format, their heft is "just right", the quality of photographic and graphic reproduction peerless, and all are accompanied by careful editorial work. The book represents what a good book should be - a pleasure to hold, a pleasure to read, and a source of solid information.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Everything I Could Have Hoped For, And More 31 juillet 2012
Par S. E. Bradfield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I've been studying the history of warship development for more than thirty years. Unfortunately I have no access to primary documents, so I have to take the word of others. For someone in my position it is vital that sources cite their own sources, so I can get at least a glimpse of what the original documents had to say. I've long relied on books like Conway's and Jane's, and taken part in many arguments over which is more accurate. Conway's Warship series has been a great delight over the years.

Where the development of the destroyer is concerned I've been a fan of David Lyons' 'The First Destroyers' since the day I bought it. It cites many primary sources, making it invaluable to any serious student of the subject. I had long hoped that Mr. Lyons would continue with sequels, and was saddened to find that he had passed away without accomplishing that task.

Now the man some consider the greatest naval historian of them all has tackled the subject, and Norman Friedman's 'British Destroyers: From Early Days to the Second World War' does not disappoint. Dr. Friedman starts with the development of the early torpedo boats of various nations and carries through the development of the earliest torpedo-boat destroyers, the First World War and then to the eve of the Second World War. He not only gives detailed descriptions of each class of ship, he also gives excellent explanations of why each class was created, citing the writings of various admirals, directors and lords discussing and even arguing over what direction the next step of small British warship should be. He quotes the experiments undertaken by then-commander of the Mediterranean forces Admiral Jacky Fisher concerning destroyer deployment and use, and how those tests affected British policy concerning the small ships. He carefully explains the differing opinions on whether destroyer forces should operate independently or as close escort to the battleships.

A great asset to the book is the many fine internal and external line drawings by A. D. Baker III. Almost every class is represented in detail, including some of the one-offs and lesser-known ship types.

My only complaint would be the lack of tactical-diameter listings in the technical descriptions. It's a small matter, but I would like to have seen them.

That said, if I had to choose any one book on the subject it would be this one. It is not only valuable for its technical pages and for its history of the people as well as the ships, it is also a rarity among this type of book for being highly readable just for the story. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the story of the "footsoldiers" of the Royal Navy.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A great reference book 30 mai 2012
Par Destroyer Veteran - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I needed a better reference on British destroyers, especially those built after the signatories stopped adhering to the London Treaty on tonnages. Norman Friedman sets the standard for this type of reference so I knew I would have a great book. It arrived promptly and is as good as I had expected.
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