This volume covers reflects the views of the time and is really Part 2 following Vol V. – This is a reproduction of the set of eight volumes held by the British National Maritime Museum where it has provided an unparalleled source of information for the Museum’s staff – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: British Warship Recognition, The Perkins Identification Albums, Volume VI: Submarines, Gunboats, Gun Vessels and Sloops, 1860-1939 FILE: R2708 AUTHOR: Richard Perkins PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth BINDING: hard back PAGES: 264 PRICE: £70.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Royal Navy, submarines, Coastal Forces, Gun Boats, Gun Vessels, Sloops, petrol engined, steam, armoured
IMAGE: B2708.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybdvj4xt LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This volume covers reflects the views of the time and is really Part 2 following Vol V. - This is a reproduction of the set of eight volumes held by the British National Maritime Museum where it has provided an unparalleled source of information for the Museum's staff – Most Highly Recommended. The author was a photographer of note who collected a unique photographic resource, in its field one of the most extensive in the world. He became the acknowledged expert in the identifying and dating of warship photographs and his project to provide a truly comprehensive recognition manual of Royal Navy warships from the 1860s to the Second World War is a visual record that cannot be excelled. Until Pen and Sword began a facsimile project with the National Maritime Museum, Perkins' work was not easily accessible to anyone beyond Museum staff and was a remarkable national treasure in its own right. By producing a full set of these recognition volumes in quality facsimile form as a large format book, the publishers have provided a commendable service to all enthusiasts, ship modellers, professionals, historians, and museums. Inevitably, a volume of this size and quality cannot be offered at a budget price, even though the publishers have set a very aggressive RRP. The reduction in lending library services in many countries will make that form of access difficult for many readers. Readers who might not normally stretch their budgets to this cover price may well make a special effort and find the money to acquire the full eight volume set as the only way to access the astonishing expertise displayed by Perkins in his fantastic work. The Royal Navy before 1939 was seen as a Fleet of Battleships and Cruisers, the steel successors to the Line of Battle Ships and Frigates of the wooden sailing Navy. From 1876, the new breeds of Torpedo Boats and Torpedo Destroyers emerged, powered by steam or by petrol, but there was also an earlier continuation, from 1860, of the many classes of minor war vessels that were so vital to the efficient operation of Fleets and Squadrons, also filling the multitude of reconnaissance and communications duties that did not require a larger warships. From them developed the Destroyers and Coastal Forces vessels that were so important and numerous during WWI and then during WWII. These vessels operated in groups and individually, as the workhorses of the Royal Navy, most likely to engage the enemy with frequency and closely. The exception to this coverage is the inclusion of submarines which were potent weapons that were soon able to operate as blue water warships, far from their home bases. Perkins has produced a memorial review of this new class of warship and demonstrates the huge potential and innovation of British submarines which at least rivaled the German U-Boats and, in several areas, led. However it also demonstrates the very different attitude to submarines of the Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine. To the Germans, the U-Boat was seen as a blockading raider that was primarily intended to interdict the crucial British sea lanes and Merchant Marine. Although capable of attacking major warships, this was not the primary purpose of the U-Boats. The Royal Navy however took a different view because it was able to operate freely across the oceans against any enemy surface vessels and did not perceive the same value for its submarines. However, this did not hamper the creative British designs that grew from the experiences with the first handful of license-built Holland Boats. Not every development was a great success. The K-Class were generally deemed a serious failure and the concept of a submarine with an oil-fired steam engine, for high speed surface running, seriously hampered its ability to quickly submerge. It was also prone to disasters where sisters collided with each other and with surface vessels. Against that high cost, their benefits as a design that could keep up with a battle group were very limited and the concept had to wait until nuclear power could be employed as a submarine steam power source. The approach of trying to match surface vessel classes was also a disaster. The battleship/aircraft carrier M-Class was a costly waste. The big-gun M1 was equipped with a gun that was common to pre-Dreadnought battleships, hard to handle and of very limited value. The M2 could only carry a single special small seaplane and the complexity of closing doors before diving was to cause her loss. The M3, as a mine layer, was a more productive vessel but smaller craft were to fill this slot. The X1 Cruiser submarine, with its two twin 5in gun barbettes, was also less than successful, experiencing reliability problems, again without offering any great benefits. With these exceptions, British submarine development was pretty solid, leading to the reliable T-Class in the late 1930s. What is often neglected, but not by Perkins, is the R-Class which was a revolution that is a clear forebear of the nuclear attack submarine. A hull designed to operate primarily underwater, with low submerged noise and improved battery capacity, should have been developed further and the concept was to await the Type 21 U-Boats in closing stage of WWII to see a similar approach in a diesel/electric submarine. As with all the sister volumes in this redoubtable recognition series, there are hundreds of the most beautifully delineated warship profile drawings , arranged by class and type, and reproduced in the original colours of Perkin's masters. This volume is again a treasure trove of information with not only a profile of each vessel included, but also providing analysis of the most minute differences between sister ships. In addition, the many detailed changes for individual vessels, during their periods of service, are included and the author has added a series of hand-written notes that are a welcome and important addition to the drawings. This is a book that is very difficult to do full justice to in a book review, even by including many of the images in the review. Every reader of naval history and technology should make special effort to acquire or view each volume in the collection.