The Submarine Book – An Illustrated History Of The Attack Submarine


This is a highly readable overview of the development of the submarine from early experiments such as Correlius Van Drebbel’s oar powered submarine of 1620 and David Bushnell’s Turtle of 1776 which carried out the first submarine war mission in history through to the adoption of the submarine by the navies of the world at the turn of the 20th Century. From there Lawliss follows the use of submarines in two World Wars and the evolution of the nuclear powered submarines of today

The Spitfire Story


The Spitfire is the one aircraft that people around the world think of first. The Hurricane clearly showed its Hawker Fury biplane heritage but its dependable and easily repaired structure, with its performance as a stable gun platform led to it shooting down more German aircraft during the Battle of Britain but it was the Spitfire that captured the imagination. A small beautiful and horribly complex structure, the Spitfire was the thoroughbred. The ultimate compliment was from German fighter Ace General Galland who told Field Marshal Goering that he would like Spitfires in his fighter group. German pilots exhibited Spitfire snobbery when they refused to accept that they had been shot down by any other British fighter. As a result, more Spitfire books are published every year rivalling only the tragic Titanic liner as a popular subject for authors and publishers. Given this abundance of books on one aircraft, reviewers are inclined to be critical of each new publication. Peter March has not uncovered any earth-shattering new truth about the Spitfire. He has not found any amazingly important but previously unpublished photograph of his subject. What he has done is to produce a very readable pocket book that has been beautifully published at a very affordable price that brings it well within reach of the young reader but contains material that even an enthusiast would value. The photographs are mainly in full colour and of a very high standard. The text is concise and tells the story of the development and use of the Spitfire from prototype to final version, spanning WWII through to the Korean War and peacetime service. There is more hard information and images than many a large format coffee table book on the Spitfire. The “Did you know?” sidebar notes are useful, particularly for a younger reader coming fresh to the subject. There is an appendix of Spitfire Milestones stretching from 1928 to the final RAF activation of a PR.XIX in 1963. There is a great deal of information on currently airworthy Spitfires with some stunning photographs. All in all, this is a good book for every library scoring highly for accuracy, concise history, value for money and easy portability.

The Social History of the Navy 1793-1815


A welcome reprint of a valuable reference work originally published in 1960. Republished just ahead of the Nelsonian bi-centenary, this book provides the insight into the personnel and conditions that makes sense of the books of the Royal Navy of the period. It also places in perspective the works of fiction, for those readers who seek more than light entertainment. Lewis has divided his work into logical sections covering the social and geographical origins, recruitment, the profession with its prospects, conditions and rewards, the Butcher’s Bill of accident, disease, and battle. There is an interesting selection of illustrations that add to the text, tables, a map, and a graph. No student of naval history of the period should be without a copy of this book

The Ships of Trafalgar


Sometimes a reviewer is stuck for words. To be too fulsome in reviewing a book risks as reader taking the review as an advertisement. Conway have established a reputation for high quality art work and authoritative books. Many of their regular readers are model engineers who require well drafted detail. With that pedigree, this book starts from a high point of expectation and it does not disappoint. The author is Keeper and Curator of HMS Victory and his love of his subject shines through. The work is lavishly illustrated and the power of the illustration disguises the fact that this is a book that is packed with information. Virtually every aspect is covered and every possible question answered about the ships and their technology. The colour plate section is outstanding. There are fine paintings of the Trafalgar ships, blending with colour photographs from HMS Victory as she now is, and colour photographs of some fine models to inspire the model maker. This book is outstanding value and no library of Napoleonic War books should be without a copy. This is a fitting tribute in the 200th Anniversary of the Battle

The Ships of Christopher Columbus


This is another book in the excellent Conway series that is aimed particularly are model shipbuilders. The quality of drawings is what makes all books in the series outstanding value and interest. This book is fully up to that high established standard. As is now a feature of the dust jackets, a 1/100 scale fold-out plan has been printed on the reverse of the jacket. The book begins with concise text introducing the subjects of the voyage, the ships, and the replicas that have been built subsequently. The replicas has provided bandw photographs of these famous vessels. There are also photographs of detailed models. The drawings follow the well-established “Anatomy of the Ship” format