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Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860-1905 Hardcover – Jan 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Caxton Editions (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840675292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840675290
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 2.4 x 29 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,598,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David K. Brown was a distinguished naval architect who was Deputy Chief Naval Architect of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors. He published widely on the subject of warship design, including The Grand Fleet. He died in 2008. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic case study of warship development Aug. 17 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is very detailed and technical. However, it is not prohibitive in its presentation, and anyone interested the capital ship design and development will already have the vocabulary under his belt to tackle this book. Yet, what this book offers is much more than a simple chronology of ship development. It provides telling insights into all the research and politics which went into making these 45 years, perhaps the most fecund in ship development, ever--the ships themselves were only the final products of a convoluted design process carried out in the face of both the comfort of unchallenged-empire, and the uncertainty as to the future of naval warfare. With this book (and ideally a copy of the now out-of-print but excellent Steam Steel and Shellfire) you'll be set to intelligently explore this very exciting period in warship design.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
What You Wanted to Know June 1 2005
By Ignotus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Amateur naval enthusiasts, with little or no background in naval engineering, tend to accumulate isolated bits of knowledge about warship design from Jane's, Brassey's, Conway's and random photographs and diagrams in sundry sources. Warrior to Dreadnought provides a wealth of basic information regarding the evolution of armored ships, in a single large-format volume. The information is largely technical, in keeping with the author's professional standing. Yet, it is presented in an accessible fashion. If you have read terms like "metacentric height" and "righting lever" -- or perhaps dropped them in conversation with a fellow hobbyist -- but don't really know what they mean, this book is your salvation.

The author sketches some of the key (and largely unknown) personalities who shaped the Royal Navy during the last half of the 19th century, though without rendering them in full detail. This is in keeping with the book's technical focus, but may leave some readers unsatisfied.

The book includes at least one photograph of each major warship discussed in the text, but seldom more than one. Additional views of some of the vessels would have been helpful. Despite its technical focus, the book includes only a few ship plans.

These criticisms aside, this book fulfills a specific -- and, for some of us, critical -- need for basic information concerning warship design, during the period when the modern capital ship evolved.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A perfect study May 26 2008
By Alexander T. Gafford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the second of a series of five written by D. K. Brown covering the design of ship for the Royal Navy from 1800 to the late 1980s. Brown retired from the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors as Deputy Chief Naval Architect in 1988 and is hugely qualified as well as deeply interested in history. I have read the last four of the volumes and recommend them all, but I think this one is really special. My view is that the period covered actually is one in which the rate of technology change in marine architecture and engineering was extremely high, arguably more rapid than it is today. A warship of 1960 might have had some value in 2005 but a warship of 1860 had NO value in 1905. The author is able to take us into the past to understand why technical decisions in various directions were taken and what our modern understanding of their implications were. Yet he is fully cognizant of the state of knowledge of the time that led to those decisions. One of the best features of this volume, also found in the others, are technical appendices that provide introductions to some fundemental concepts of naval architecture such as ship stability, rolling, strength of ships,and so on. The technical level is below that to be found in introductory texts in naval architecture but with enough quantitative material to allow clear knowledge of the issues involved.
Yet Brown is quite cognizant of the fact the ships are tools for war and must be fit for that purpose and the effect of the technical characteristics on fitness for that purpose is a theme repeatedly sounded in the couse of this and the other texts. The book is quite well illustrated with many contemporary photos and drawings as well as simple charts and graphs to cover various technical points. It might be nice to have had the old plans reproduced in larger scale but one can only put so much in a book of a certain price and size.
One last good thing (and I have no bad things) to say about this work is that Brown is very aware that naval ship design is a human activity carried out by real people just like himself and he does not fail to delve into the personalities and politics of naval ship design of the period, drawing conclusions as he sees appropriate.
And excellect work on historical British warship design. Aug. 13 2014
By David Lefebvre - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully detailed book covering the often overlooked and/or underrated period of British warship design beginning with Warrior, the first ironclad steam ships up to the first of the all big gun battleships, Dreadnought. As it is written from the view of a genuine naval architect, it may seem a bit overly technical and complicated, but its thoroughness with the subject matter more than makes up for it. Very little is left out. I was quite impressed with what for me was a first and very good introduction to the principles of stability and how this affects a warship's design as well as its survivability during battle. Though my primary area of interest isn't British warship design, this definitely gave me considerable insight to warship design worldwide, as the British were often the leaders when it came to developing new tactical concepts and technology. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a genuine interest in the historical development of warship design worldwide.
Captures the Technical Details of A Great Era of Naval Transformation March 7 2014
By Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well presented, readable, and fascinating books tracks warship development from the HMS Warrior, the first steel hulled, armored warship, to the HMS Dreadnought, which can be called the first vessel fully to realize the technology of a modern battleship.

This was a period of tremendous change, from wood to steal, from sail to steam, and from experienced-based guesswork to mathematical calculation in design. The work is lavishly illustrated.

This book is highly technical and not something you just read like a novel. Each chapter is pretty interesting, even for the amateur, and it makes a great book to flip through and fall into from time to time.

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