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Book Review, NRJ 69.1

May 06, 2024 5:53 AM | JAMES HATCH (Administrator)

Warship 2022

By John Jordan

Warship has been a leading reference book with regard to the design and development of combat ships, for over forty years. The editor, John Jordan, has been in the role since 2004 and over the years has overseen the publication of a wide range of informative articles written by an international field of contributors. This publication for 2022 is no exception.

The twelve feature articles in the 2022 offering come from the pens (or keyboards) of fourteen contributors from across the world, including one by the editor. Two of the articles are on a British theme: an account of offensive operations in the Channel (Operation TUNNEL) between September 1943 and April 1944; and a technically-rich article on post-war radar development in the Royal Navy. The remaining articles are of an international flavor, with six of them covering generic design issues: the beginnings of Soviet naval power; the development of the small cruiser in the Imperial German Navy; the development of Italian scouts between 1906 and 1939; Soviet battleship designs from 1939 to 1941; and a look at modern European frigate designs. A further four articles looking in detail at specific ship designs: the Imperial Japanese Navy carriers Sōryū and Hiryū; the French battleship Jauréguiberry (translated from the original French by the editor); the Australian Bathurst class of World War II minesweepers; and France’s prototype ocean escort, C65 Aconit. The twelfth article places the development of the Imperial Japanese Navy dockyard at Yokosuka into a historical context, with a fascinating insight into the roles played by the British and the French as the Japanese sought to modernise in the 1860s. While the articles cover a wide range of issues covering a protracted time period—from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day—they all have one thing in common: they are well-researched, well-presented, and provide a wealth of detail, including extensive bibliographies.

The editor also has included a chapter on book reviews, and the book finishes with some evocative black and white images of the scrapping of the warships AgincourtNew Zealand, and Princess Royal at Rosyth between 1923 and 1925.

On the face of it, the topics chosen for inclusion in the publication appear random. However, given the length of time that editions of Warship have been produced, there is no doubt that the owner of the full set of this publication would have a bookshelf containing a comprehensive, wide-ranging, and informative collection of articles on a naval theme covering operations, ship design, equipment, and infrastructure.

The book is handsomely produced and is extensively furnished with a large number of black-and-white photographs. It also benefits considerably from some unusually clear line drawings of ship layouts, equipment, and charts, many of which have been drawn by the editor.

This is an enjoyable read with informative articles written by authoritative contributors. Recommended.

  • Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2022
  • 8” x 11”, hardcover, 224 pages
  • Photographs, drawings, maps, tables, notes. $60.00
  • ISBN: 9781472847812

Reviewed by: Jeremy Costlow, Little Rock, Arkansas

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