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French Battleships: 1922-1956 [Hardcover]

John Jordan , Robert Dumas

Price: CDN$ 80.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 4 2009
The battleships of the Dunkerque and Richelieu classes were the most radical and influential designs of the interwar period, and were coveted by the British, the Germans and the Italians following the Armistice of June 1940. After an extensive refit in the USA, Richelieu went on to serve alongside the Royal Navy during 1943-45.Using a wealth of primary-source material, some of which has only recently been made available, John Jordan and Robert Dumas have embarked on a completely new study of these important and technically interesting ships. A full account of their development is followed by a detailed analysis of their design characteristics, profusely illustrated by inboard profiles and schematic drawings. The technical chapters are interspersed with operational histories of the ships, with a particular focus on the operations in which they engaged other heavy units: Mers el-Kebir, Dakar and Casablanca. These accounts include a detailed analysis of their performance in action and the damage sustained, and are supported by specially-drawn maps and by the logs of Strasbourg and Richelieu. Twenty-two colour profile and plan views illustrate the ships' appearance at the various stages of their careers.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press; 1 edition (Nov. 4 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591144167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591144168
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 24.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #199,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice technical and operational history Oct. 3 2009
By Mark Hinds - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book primarily covers the WWII-era French battleships Dunkerque, Strassbourg, Richelieu, and Jean Bart, from a technical and historical perspective. It appears to be an English-language update of French-language monographs written on this topic by one of the two authors, previously published by "Marines Editions".

The book is worth purchasing for its own sake, however. Although much of the material is similar to its predecessor, it is organized differently, and it is written in English. It also contains additional material, including 2 preliminary chapters discussing the planned/constructed French battleship predecessors of these ships, color plans and profiles showing paint schemes, and a bit more historical discussion. The book also exhibits very high-quality production values, with improved line drawings, diagrams, and photographs.

The bibliography is a bit sketchy.

Although I already own the Dulin/Garzke/Webb "Allied Battleships in World War Two", as well as the Dumas monographs mentioned above, and thus already have access to similar material, I was happy with my purchase.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French Battleships described in detail Nov. 4 2009
By Nathan F. Okun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has extremely large amounts of detailed information on many aspects of warship design that are skipped in other books. Details on the projectile design are excellent, for example. Since this is the "business end" of the warship's ability to defeat an enemy, the design of projectiles and how they work is important, second only to the fire-control system that aims them at the target (being able to hit is somewhat more important than best possible results when a hit occurs, if you have to pick one or the other). The various problems that occurred due to the designers "biting off more than they could chew" in some aspects of the design of these ships shows the importance of limiting the risk by using equipment that already exists or that is not a lot different from current designs -- the problems with the anti-aircraft systems is particularly informative. All-in-all, well worth the price if this is interesting to you.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every cent! Dec 18 2009
By Bongo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. Authored by two of the foremost contemporary authorities on French warships, it is a greatly enhanced, single-volume elaboration -- in English -- of Robert Dumas' three-part French-language monograph covering the battleships "Dunkerque," "Strassbourg," "Richelieu" and "Jean Bart." This work's scope includes a look back at French dreadnought battleships commissioned and planned prior to 1932; as well as the fullest English-language profile I have seen of the never-completed battleship designs projected after 1939 ("Clemenceau," "Gascogne" and "Alsace"). The authors do a commendable job of describing the historic, political and technical factors influencing French capital ship development and procurement; then follow up with thorough technical descriptions and revealing operational histories of the four completed ships. The volume concludes with a candid and balanced assessment of the ships and comparisons with foreign contemporaries. The text is clear and to-the-point. The accompanying photos emphasize close-up views showing general arrangements and details of ship's equipment, but also include overall portraits demonstrating the changing profiles of the vessels throughout their lives. Especially delightful are the eight pages presenting 23 side elevation and overhead views -- in color -- of "Dunkerque," "Strassbourg," "Richelieu," "Jean Bart," "Clemenceau" and "Gascogne" as they appeared at different stages of their careers. These drawings are beautifully executed. Most of the numerous line drawings -- many prepared specifically by Mr. Jordan for this volume -- are well-done. This book does justice to these handsome and technically innovative ships while filling a long-neglected need in the English literature on naval history. I own the French-language Dumas trilogy that was the starting point for "French Battleships 1922-1956," but feel that this book was well worth its price.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding technical history Jan. 5 2010
By Jim Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Authors Jordan and Dumas will be familiar to most readers of this book from their articles in "Warship" and elsewhere over the years. They do not disappoint here.

This book is near definitive on the four battleships of the Dunkerque and Richelieu classes. Everything imaginable is covered here; the full political, technical, economic context in which these ships were developed are fully covered from the paper designs of the 1920s to the final years of the 1950s. The ships are described in great detail not only in words but photos and copious drawings as well. The weapons, projectiles, aircraft are given the full treatment. The operations are by no means neglected - the entire careers are covered with the actions supported by very helpful maps and diagrams of damage suffered. Infrastructure is also well covered with detailed maps of the various shipyards included. There are also 8 pages of color profiles and plans included.

Only nits can be picked with this book. The book mentions that although the secondary guns were dual purpose the directors were not; different directors were provided for AA and surface fire. I would have liked some discussion of this curious feature. There is also more emphasis on the intended outfit of these ships instead of the as fitted state. Thus we get plan views of the intended placement of the 37mm ACAD mounts but none of the close range AA as fitted. Most seriously there are no detailed line drawings of the ships as built like most ship monographs have. True, the color profiles and plans make up for this to some degree but they are two small and the color obscures the detail that is present.

But as said these are nits. This book will satisfy the most demanding reader. The retail price is steep but it is fully representative of the books superb value.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book Feb. 3 2013
By Sinar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a first rate book on a topic about which little has been written in any depth, apart from Mr. Dumas' previous works, which are only available in French. It is certainly, one of the very best publications of its type that I have read (and I have read many). It is very well written, and the quality of the paper, photos, line-drawings and color plates are all as good as it gets.

The book covers all aspects of design development, construction and history of the Dunkerque, Strasbourg, Richelieu, and Jean Bart, as well as the partially completed Clemenceau and unbuilt Gascogne. many alternate designs for these projects are also discussed in some detail, with features shown in a number of drawings.

My only minor complaints are that some of the good pictures from Mr. Dumas' previous works on the subject were not included (although many great new pictures were), and I would have preferred that some of the drawings and color plates could have been printed in a larger format. In fact, the detail in the color plates is fantastic, and it would be great if they were offered in a larger format as prints.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in the topic.

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