The number of annual naval reviews, published as printed paper books, has been steadily reducing over the last twenty years, making those survivors even more valuable and keenly sought. The publishers have a well-earned reputation for high production standards and the use of lavish illustration. Nine specialists in their fields have written this annual under the editorship of Conrad Waters, providing solid assurance as to the accuracy of the work. Illustration is by crisp drawings and photographs, full colour being used where available and appropriate.
This book is the first of a series. The publisher intends to take selections of the best models to tell the story of specific ship types. Full colour photographs of the selected models provides an enormous amount of visual detail for the historian, the model maker and all those interested in the design and development of sailing ships.
All of these experimental submarines, with the exception of the British R Class hunter-killer, have received much coverage from publishers, almost beyond that merited by their place in naval history. Other navies also followed similar development paths and the Japanese were to use large submarines to launch aircraft and/or midget submarines during WWII. They have also received reasonable coverage in print. The one submarine to escape attention has been the British X-1 and this new book goes a long way to correcting this omission. The author has written an engaging account of the development and operation of the X-1 and also placed it in historical context by looking also at other large experimental submarines of Germany, the US, France, Russia and Japan. The text is enhanced but very good illustration in the form of photographs and drawings, spread through the body of the book. The level of information is excellent and based on solid research.
This is a book that covers what it says on the cover, but also includes former colony, the USA, and Mosquitoes after WWII in Switzerland and other countries. The author has established a formula that works very well for recounting the histories of classic warbirds. He incorporates background information with first hand accounts from Mosquito aircrew. This includes previously untold tales and provides a very interesting and entertaining book. To add to the valuable information and views, there are two fine photo plate sections, one in full colour.
The author has done a very good job in setting out this remarkable history and adding the human content of the crews who flew Mosquitoes. This is an important history, but it is also a book that can be read and enjoyed by those who may not hold aviation and warplanes as a primary interest. First class effort.
The author has done a very good job in recounting the story of the Blackburn Skua. Two excellent photo plate sections and an annex containing drawings, provide able support for clear and easy to read text. There is a great deal of information. The author has close access to the FAA Museum archives and is connected with the Skua restoration.
Even those not closely interested in naval aircraft will find this book of great interest. It demonstrates how the RN coped with venial politicians who wanted to rob them of close air support at sea and provides an example that will hopefully be followed again as the RN regains fixed wing aircraft with the arrival of the F-35. It is interesting that the RAF was reduced to sending Gladiator biplanes to Norway, but the FAA was able to deploy the capable Skua metal monoplane from their aircraft carriers.
The result is that we still know remarkably little about the Saxons and Vikings and less than we think about the Normans. At each stage, battles and occupations hung by a thread that could have been cut. How much of a change would have resulted is open to conjecture.
The author has therefore enjoyed some freedom for interpretations. His speculation is interesting, enjoyable and in parts persuasive. This is a book that may encourage some heated debate, some disbelief, and some enthusiastic followers. Probably none of them will be able to claim they are ‘right’, because there are just so many areas where knowledge is incomplete. It is also possible to argue that what we have accepted as a ‘real and true’ history of the period is largely speculation based debatably on a handful of provable facts.
The author has reviewed the full history to date for the Stratofortress and the aircraft looks likely to outlive its variable geometry supersonic B1 Lancer successor. The secret of the B-52 longevity is its rugged structure, long-range and ability to carry a heavy load of nuclear and conventional weapons, including bunker-busting bombs originally designed by Barnes Wallis and carried by the Avro Lancaster in WWII.
This new book on the Atlantic Wall covers just one section of the defences in good detail and with the added information required by those readers who intend to undertake a battlefield tour of the surviving artefacts. An excellent selection of photographs and maps reinforces the able text.
The publisher has already released over 100 titles in the highly acclaimed Battleground series. This book is a worthy addition and follows the format of providing a volume that is entertaining and informative for those reading at home and for those intending to visit the fortifications.