Royal Navy - Vintage Airfix


Royal Navy books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- The Royal Navy Wasp - By Larry Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- 'Total Germany' - By David Wragg..
- 13 Sharks - By John D Grainger..
- A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy - By Alastair Wilson..
- A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009 - By David Wragg..
- Battlecruiser Repulse - By John Roberts..
- Battleship Warspite - By Robert Brown..
- Before the Battlecruiser - By Aidan Dodson..
- Bomb Alley - Falklands Island 1982 - By David Yates..
- Britain's Future Navy - By Nick Childs..
- Britain's Island Fortresses - By Bill Clements..
- British Aircraft Carriers - By David Hobbs..
- British Battlecruisers - By John Roberts..
- British Battleships - 1919 - 1945 - By Ray Burt..
- British Battleships of the Victorian Era - By Norman Friedman..

 


 

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The Royal Navy Wasp

By Larry Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin

The Royal Navy WaspDescription:

This book tells the story of the first helicopter in the world designed from the outset to be deployed at sea, in Destroyers and Frigates. It is primarily based on the words of those who operated it. Designed from the outset to cope with the restricted space of a warship both for stowage and flight operations it proved an immediate success. Its original role was to act as a weapon carrier to launch torpedoes and depth charges on submarine contacts out of range of the parent ship’s weapons range. Soon, it also took on a second primary role of air to surface attack using wire guided missiles. The flexibility of the machine was such that it was able to conduct a plethora of secondary roles from visual search to collecting the all-important ship’s mail. Wherever the Royal Navy was deployed on operations a Wasp was there. The book has accounts of operations around the world particularly during the Cold War of the Seventies and the Falklands War where amongst other things it had the honour of being the first RN platform ever, to fire a guided missile at a surface target.

However the story doesn’t end there. Although the aircraft went out of service in the Royal Navy in 1988, it continued to operate with other navies around the world. To this day there are still several airworthy examples flying. The second part of the book gives accounts of these machines and brings the story of the Wasp completely up to date.

Vintage Airfix Review:

The WASP is a fascinating helicopter with an interesting background and in this book, you gain a new respect for it and the people involved in its development and the pilots who flew it over the years.

It's a well-presented book with some great images, some of which are close ups of components that will be useful for the advanced modeler.

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'Total Germany'

By David Wragg

'Total Germany'Description:

On the declaration of war in 1939 the British Admiralty signalled all warships and naval bases 'Total Germany, Total Germany'.

It was fortunate that of Germany's three armed services, the Kriegsmarine under Grosseradmiral Erich Raeder was the least well prepared. True, Admiral Karl Donitz's U-Boat force was to give the Allies many anxious times but Hitler was never comfortable or competent in his handling of naval surface forces.

Total Germany is a concise yet comprehensive account of the Royal Navy's part in the war at sea and the measures taken to ensure victory. The different approaches taken by the warring countries are expertly examined. The author reviews the differing strategies and tactics of the various theatres such as the Far East, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Arctic.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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13 Sharks

By John D Grainger

13 SharksDescription:

John D Grainger charts the careers of the thirteen vessels that have served the Royal Navy under the name HMS Shark. Despite the ferocious name, they have all been relatively small vessels including one brigantine, five sloops, one Sixth Rate, a gunvessel, four destroyers and a submarine. Collectively they therefore give a good representation of the various roles of these types, which receive far less attention than larger, more glamorous ships. Furthermore, as the first entered service in 1699 and the last was sunk in 1944 (having the dubious distinction of being the only Allied vessel lost on D-Day), they illustrate the changes and continuities in the Royal Navy and war at sea across almost 250 years. 
In each case the author considers the origin of the ship, the purpose for which it was designed and employed, its captains and where possible its crew, as well as the activities of the ship itself and its final fate; in addition background information of a general nature is included as a necessary context for those actions.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy

By Alastair Wilson

A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal NavyDescription:

Despite its recent decline in size and influence, for much of the twentieth century the Royal Navy was a major player in world history. Its senior officers carried out – and sometimes made – British policy in peace and war, but with the exception of a few star figures the details of their careers have never been published. This book is the first volume of a major study intended to provide a resumé of the service lives of every flag officer, in the style of the great nineteenth century biographical dictionaries of Marshall and O'Byrne. Every entry is based on primary sources, including the Navy's confidential personnel files, cross-referenced with general historical data and, in the case of living officers, correspondence with the subjects themselves.

The book comes with a CD which contains the service histories and careers of 336 most senior admirals on the Navy List from 1900 onwards. The length of each entry varies with the importance of the officer covered, but each includes both an outline of their careers and significant dates, like promotions and awards. In all, the CD contains more than 600,000 words - a truly epic work. The majority are not even included in the Dictionary of National Biography, and as such, this work will be a boon to historians, and invaluable to genealogists. A monumental and unique naval historical resource.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009

By David Wragg

A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009Description:

Above the Waves is the history of the first century of British Naval aviation, with personal accounts adding colour to the achievements both in technology, such as angled flight decks, mirror deck landing systems, helicopter assault and vertical take-off, and in operations, including the sinking of the Konigsberg and the daring attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, convoy protection, operations with the United States Navy in the Pacific, then, post-war, Suez, and later the recovery of the Falklands from Argentine invasion.

The Royal Navy was in the forefront of aviation from a very early stage. As the author reveals Officers such as the legendary Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher quickly recognised the strategic and tactical importance of air power. Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, volunteered the Navy for the air defence of the UK in WW1 but with the formation of the RAF in 1918 the Navy had a fierce fight to retain its own air arms and this is a struggle that has continued up to the present day.

Not only are there many thrilling accounts of operations but this fascinating book also includes a chronology of major events. Above the Waves will appeal to those who have served, those who serve today and those who intend to serve in the future, and for their relatives and the many enthusiasts who sense the particular excitement of air operations at sea.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Battlecruiser Repulse

By John Roberts

Battlecruiser RepulseDescription:

The technical details of British warships were recorded in a set of plans produced by the builders on completion of every ship. Known as the ‘as fitted’ general arrangements, these drawings represented the exact appearance and fitting of the ship as it entered service. Intended to provide a permanent reference for the Admiralty and the dockyards, these highly detailed plans were drawn with exquisite skill in multi-coloured inks and washes that represent the acme of the draughtsman’s art.

Today they form part of the incomparable collection of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which is using the latest scanning technology to make digital copies of the highest quality. This book is one of a series based entirely on these draughts which depict famous warships in an unprecedented degree of detail – complete sets in full colour, with many close-ups and enlargements that make every aspect clear and comprehensible. Extensive captions point the reader to important features to be found in the plans, and an introduction covers the background to the design.

The subject of this volume was one of the last battlecruisers, elegant ships which combined a powerful armament with high speed, but much criticised for their light protection. Throughout their existence, they were controversial – three were sunk at Jutland – and Repulse herself was famously lost to Japanese air attack at the outset of the Pacific War. Nevertheless, the type was highly prized: Repulse and her sister Renown were the only capital ships given sufficient priority to be designed, built and completed during the course of the First World War; and substantial sums were spent on large-scale reconstruction during the 1930s. Both these phases of the ship’s life are fully documented in two separate sets of plans, which allows this novel form of anatomy to cover the whole life of the ship.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Battleship Warspite

By Robert Brown

Battleship WarspiteDescription:

The technical details of British warships were recorded in a set of plans produced by the builders on completion of every ship. Known as the ‘as fitted’ general arrangements, these drawings documented the exact appearance and fitting of the ship as it entered service. They were very large – more than 12 feet long for capital ships – highly detailed, annotated and labelled, and drawn with exquisite skill in multi-coloured inks and washes. Intended to provide a permanent reference for the Admiralty and the dockyards, they represent the acme of the draughtsman’s art.

Today these plans form part of the incomparable collection of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which is using the latest scanning technology to make digital copies of the highest quality. This book is the first of a series based entirely on these draughts which will depict famous warships in an unprecedented degree of detail – complete sets in full colour, with many close-ups and enlargements that make every aspect clear and comprehensible. Extensive captions point the reader to important features to be found in the plans, and an introduction covers the background to the design.

The celebrated battleship Warspite is an ideal introduction to this new series – an apparently familiar subject, but given this treatment the result is an anatomy that will fascinate every warship enthusiast and ship modeller.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Before the Battlecruiser

By Aidan Dodson

Before the BattlecruiserDescription:

The battlecruiser is perceived by many as the most glamorous of warships, remembered for its triumphs and tragedies in both world wars. Often forgotten are its lineal ancestors, the big cruisers that were constructed as capital ships for distant waters, as commerce raiders, and as fast scouts for the battlefleet during the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth.

In this new book by bestselling author Aidan Dobson, the 200 or so big cruisers that were built for the world’s navies from 1865 are described and analysed in detail. The type came into being in the 1860s when the French built a series of cruising ironclads to project its power in the Far East. Britain followed suit as did Russia. By the 1890s the general adoption of these fast, heavily-armed and moderately armoured vessels ushered in the golden age of the big cruiser. These great ships would go on to be key combatants in the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars, the Japanese employing them within the battlefleet in a manner that heralded later battlecruiser tactics.

In Britain, in reply to the launch of the big Russian Rurik in 1890, there was spawned the freakishly huge HMS Powerful and HMS Terrible, ships that underlined the public’s view of the glamour of the ‘great cruiser’. Indeed, the two ships’ cap-tallies became ubiquitous on the sailor suits of late Victorian British children. In some navies, particularly those of South American republics, the big cruiser became the true capital ship, while the Italians built the Giuseppe Garibaldi as a more affordable battleship. By the beginning of the twentieth century the type became yet bigger and guns approached battleship size; with HMS Invincible the British created what was, in 1912, officially dubbed the ‘battlecruiser’. Despite their growing obsolescence in the new century some had remarkably long careers in patrol and other subsidiary roles, the Argentine Garibaldi still sailing as a training ship in the 1950s.

The design, development and operations of all these great vessels is told with the author’s usual attention to detail and depth of analysis and will delight naval enthusiasts and historians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Bomb Alley - Falklands Island 1982

By David Yates

Bomb Alley - Falklands Island 1982Description:

This is the untold story of the Falklands War as experienced by a below-decks seaman on one of the most important ships to be despatched to the South Atlantic. It is a no-holds-barred account as seen through the eyes of a Royal Navy matelot who shared the terror of the first encounter with Argentinean forces when South Georgia was retaken from the invaders in Operation Paraquat. Then HMS Antrim lead the first attack into the North Falklands Sound where she destroyed enemy defences and later became part of the main force anti-aircraft defences in the infamous 'Bomb Alley' or San Carlos Water. During one of the many air attacks the ship was struck by a bomb that destroyed her defensive missile system, but through pure chance the bomb did not explode and remained aboard wedged in the aft 'heads'. All around the stricken ship other RN vessels were taking extreme punishment from the almost continuous onslaught from low-flying Argentinean jets. HMS Antelope, HMS Coventry and the Atlantic Conveyer were all lost within a short period whilst the army was trying to establish a bridgehead.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Britain's Future Navy

By Nick Childs

Britain's Future NavyDescription:

What kind of Royal Navy does Britain need now? The 21st century promises to be one of huge uncertainties and challenges for the senior service. Does Britain have the right naval strategy to cope with emerging threats (does it have a naval strategy at all, and should it?) and, if so, does the Navy have the right ships and enough of them to implement it?

Nick Childs looks at the changing strategic environment (including economic difficulties and the growth of other navies such as China and India). He asks what Britain's role in the world could or should be – is she still interventionist? If so, should our forces be designed purely to work with US, UN or Western European forces? What are the options for a naval strategy? The author considers what kind of navy would be needed to support such options. What kind of ships are needed and how many? What of aircraft carriers and the nuclear option? 

What are the technological developments affecting current and future warship design projects? Is the new Type 45 destroyer what is needed and worth the cost? Given the depths to which the RN has shrunk in terms of numbers, public profile, and strength relative to its peers, this probably is a critical period in terms of determining the RN's future. 

This new paperback edition has been revised and updated to take into account the most recent developments and government defence decisions.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Britain's Island Fortresses

By Bill Clements

Britain's Island FortressesDescription:

During the 19th Century the Royal Navy played a key role defending the expanding British Empire. As sail gave way to steam power, there was a pressing requirement for coaling stations and dock facilities across the world’s oceans. These strategic bases needed fixed defences.

The author describes in detail, with the aid of historic photographs, maps and plans, the defences of the most important islands, Bermuda, Ceylon, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Singapore, and a number of lesser ones including Antigua, Ascension, Mauritius St Helena and St Lucia. He describes how the defences were modified over the years in order to meet the changing strategic needs of the Empire, and the technological changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Only three of these bases had to defend themselves in war (Hong Kong, Singapore and Ceylon) and the author relates the battles for these bases.

The book will appeal not only to readers whose interest is in the study of fortifications, but also to those readers interested in the maritime history of the British Empire.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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British Aircraft Carriers

By David Hobbs

British Aircraft CarriersDescription:

This book is a meticulously detailed history of British aircraft-carrying ships from the earliest experimental vessels to the Queen Elizabeth class, currently under construction and the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy. Individual chapters cover the design and construction of each class, with full technical details, and there are extensive summaries of every ship's career. Apart from the obvious large-deck carriers, the book also includes seaplane carriers, escort carriers and MAC ships, the maintenance ships built on carrier hulls, unbuilt projects, and the modern LPH. It concludes with a look at the future of naval aviation, while numerous appendices summarise related subjects like naval aircraft, recognition markings and the circumstances surrounding the loss of every British carrier. As befits such an important reference work, it is heavily illustrated with a magnificent gallery of photos and plans, including the first publication of original plans in full colour, one on a magnificent gatefold.

Written by the leading historian of British carrier aviation, himself a retired Fleet Air Arm pilot, it displays the authority of a lifetime's research combined with a practical understanding of the issues surrounding the design and operation of aircraft carriers. As such British Aircraft Carriers is certain to become the standard work on the subject.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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British Battlecruisers

By John Roberts

British BattlecruisersDescription:

The brainchild of Admiral Sir John Fisher, battlecruisers combined heavy guns and high speed in the largest hulls of their era. Conceived as ‘super-cruisers’ to hunt down and destroy commerce raiders, their size and gun-power led to their inclusion in the battlefleet as a fast squadron of capital ships. This book traces in detail the development of Fisher’s original idea into first battlecruiser Invincible of 1908, through to the ‘Splendid Cats’ of the Lion class, and culminating in HMS Hood in 1920, the largest warship in the world for the next twenty years. The origins of the unusual ‘light battlecruisers’ of the Courageous type are also covered.

The well-publicised problems of British battlecruisers are examined, including the latest research throwing light on the catastrophic loss of three of the ships at the Battle of Jutland. The developmental history is backed by chapters covering machinery, armament and armour, with a full listing of important technical data. The comprehensive collection of illustrations includes the author’s superb drawings and original Admiralty plans reproduced in full colour. This revised and updated edition of the classic work first published in 1997 will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the most charismatic and controversial warships of the dreadnought era.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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British Battleships - 1919 - 1945

By Ray Burt

British Battleships - 1919 - 1945Description:

This superb reference book achieved the status of 'classic' soon after its first publication in 1993; it was soon out of print and is now one of the most sought-after naval reference books.

And with good reason. Offering an unprecedented range of descriptive and illustrative detail, the author describes the evolution of the battleship classes through all their modifications and refits. As well as dealing with design features, armour, machinery and power plants and weaponry, he also examines the performance of the ships in battle and analyses their successes and failures; and as well as covering all the RN's battleships and battlecruisers, he also looks in detail at the aircraft carrier conversions of the WWI battlecruisers Furious, Glorious and Courageous.

British Battleships 1919-1939 is a masterpiece of research and the comprehensive text is accompanied by tabular detail and certainly the finest collection of photographs and line drawings ever offered in such a book. For this new edition the author has added some 75 new photographs, many of them having never appeared in print before, and the book has been completely redesigned to fully exploit the superb photo collection.

A delight for the historian, enthusiast and ship modeller, it is a volume that is already regarded as an essential reference work for this most significant era in naval history and ship design.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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British Battleships of the Victorian Era

By Norman Friedman

British Battleships of the Victorian EraDescription:

This is a companion volume to Friedman’ s highly successful British Battleship 1906–1946 and completes his study of the Royal Navy’s capital ships. Beginning with the earliest installation of steam machinery in ships of the line, the book traces the technological revolution that saw the introduction of iron hulls, armour plate, shell-firing guns and the eventual abandonment of sail as auxiliary propulsion. This hectic development finally settled down to a widely approved form of pre-dreadnought battleship, built in large numbers and culminating in the King Edward VII class.

As with all of his work, Friedman is concerned to explain why as well as how and when these advances were made, and locates British ship design firmly within the larger context of international rivalries, domestic politics and economic constraints. The result is a sophisticated and enlightening overview of the Royal Navy’s battle fleet in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

It is also well illustrated – a comprehensive gallery of photographs with in-depth captions is accompanied by specially commissioned plans of the important classes by A D Baker III, and a colour section featuring the original Admiralty draughts, including a spectacular double gatefold.

Norman Friedman is one of the most highly regarded of all naval writers, with an avid following, so for anyone with an interest in warships, the publication of this work will be a major event.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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