The Battleship Builders (another book review)
This one is just to demonstrate to reader Stan that some of my book reviews are positive.
UK £30.00 Seaforth Publishing, available at Pen and Sword Military.
THE BATTLESHIP BUILDERS Constructing and Arming British Capital Ships
By Ian Johnston and Ian Buxton
I am writing this review less than 24 hours after opening this book. It is a gem! I admit to so far reading only 5 of the 13 chapters, and those almost at random, in preference to a night’s sleep, and I am greatly anticipating devouring the remainder.
The subject is the making of battleships 1863-1945. 320 pages, triple columns, and a cornucopia of photographs, tables, plans, diagrams and maps.
I like history, engineering awes me, and I appreciate thoroughness and detail. This book has it all.
Despite the mass of detail, the writing style is clear and articulate and easy to read.
At this time I have read the chapters on armament, armour, money, and the introduction and conclusions. I will soon go back to the powering, the facilities, the building, etc. I was wondering just how they did make, shape, and attach steel armour up to 12 inches thick to the sides of ships*. And how did they make those huge guns? It is all there, including detailed descriptions and photographs of the manufacturing processes, the factories, the work forces, the costs, the materials, the physical handling of the huge pieces, the testing. And the corruption, and the cost to the national economy.
A fascinating story. Absolutely, thoroughly recommended.
*spoiler alert! The armour plates were bolted from the inside, into threaded holes, using bolts 3-4 inches diameter. The holes were made and threaded before the plates were hardened. The plates had tongue and groove edges.
After writing this I read the remaining chapters, and I confirm that this is an awesome book. Well written, plenty of pictures diagrams and tables, and thorough. So there Stan!
If you have ANY interest in battleships and their construction, buy this one!