CDN$ 17.95
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Ships of the American Rev... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Ships of the American Revolutionary Navy Paperback – Nov 24 2009

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 17.95
CDN$ 10.32 CDN$ 10.02

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (Nov. 24 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846034450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846034459
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 0.2 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #980,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


“This volume by Osprey has 48 pages and provides an excellent overview the design and development, the operational history, and the ships of the Continental Navy... I highly recommend this volume to anyone interested in the American Revolution, wooden wind-powered warships, or the history of the US Navy.” ―Jeff Leiby, IPMS (January 2010)

“Other recommendations for specialty military history collections include... Mark Lardas' Ships of the American Revolutionary Navy, telling of warships during the years 1776-83 who formed the first navy of the US.” ―The Bookwatch (January 2010)

“In this volume, author Mark Lardas looks at the design and the development of ships built in the US as well as those purchased or converted. We also see how these ships performed in battle with many now-famous captains, ships and events. The book then goes into a look of each of the classes of ships built and each of the three major types is provided a section. This is superbly illustrated by Tony Bryan and includes cut-away illustrations of several types. An inclusion of period art work and illustrations also helps us to see what these ships looked like. An excellent book on a most interesting subject and one that I am positive you will find to be of interest. One that will be pulled from the shelves time after time and one I can highly recommend to you.” ―Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness, (December 2009)

About the Author

Mark Lardas holds a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, but spent his early career at the Johnson Space Center doing Space Shuttle structural analysis, and space navigation. An amateur historian and a long-time ship modeler, Mark Lardas is currently working in League City, Texas. He has written extensively about modeling as well as naval, maritime, and military history. The author lives in League City, Texas.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4de7a8c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa376b690) out of 5 stars A Very Useful Reference Nov. 28 2009
By R. A Forczyk - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although there have been a number of books that have dealt with the American Revolution at sea, particularly in regard to John Paul Jones and his Bonhomme Richard, references on the ships of the Continental Navy as a whole have been few and far between. Mark Lardas, who brings his experience as a naval architect, provides a very useful guide to these early American warships in Osprey's New Vanguard title on the subject. Overall, the book is graphically appealing, well-researched and provides a lot of information in a concise format. For readers looking for a good description of each and every major warship in the Continental Navy, along with a brief synopsis of their wartime service, this is it.

The author begins with a discussion of warship building in the American colonies, which were already building frigate-size vessels for the Royal Navy even before the Revolution. Herein the author provides several useful observations about American shipbuilding: American-built vessels were optimized for speed and were generally larger than similar European-built ships, but colonial vessels were often only built to last a decade or so. Once the Revolution broke out, Congress authorized the conversion of merchant vessels into warships but these ships were not sturdy enough to mount many guns or take substantial damage. In December 1775 Congress ambitiously authorized the construction of 13 frigates in American yards, although it took many years for most of these vessels to be completed. The author also notes the difficulty the infant U.S. Navy had in acquiring adequate cannons for these warships and the necessity to go to sea with mixed armament.

In the next 13-page section, the author discusses the operational history of the ships and the difficulty that the colonies had in putting together effective ships and crews. Although the navy performed well in the early years given its limitations, the colonies simply did not have the resources to conduct a sustained naval war against the greatest fleet on the planet. The author concludes, "the Continental Navy did not go away - it evaporated" and by the end of 1781 the fleet had only two frigates left. The final section provides a synopsis and data for each American warship, including the USS America - the only ship-of-the-line completed by the colonies but not finished until after the war. The volume has seven nice color plates by Tony Bryan: a profile of USS Hancock; the gun deck of USS Warren; the death of the USS Randolph; a 2-page cutaway of the Bonhomme Richard; flags and weapons; Ranger vs HMS Drake; USS Confederacy. The author also provides a glossary and a bibliography. For its size, this volume is an excellent reference.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa376b6e4) out of 5 stars The colonial navy verses the kings navy April 11 2014
By white tiger - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those like me who only knew the Bon Homme Richard, this book was an eye opener. The navy was born in combination with our nation, states sent ships, privateers, and pirates. The Richard was a french reject of atype known as an east indiaman, but all the other ships Hancock were new or at least younger, A good easy read!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa376b9c0) out of 5 stars The American navy during the Revolutionary War March 10 2010
By Steven Peterson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another slender volume from Osprey. . . . The focus here is the ships of the American Revolutionary War.

For a brand new country with an uncertain financial footing, a Navy is an expensive proposition. Nonetheless, the Congress decided that it was important to have a naval presence as a part of the war for independence. The end result was decidedly mixed. Some proposed ships were never built; others were but did not function well; still others made contributions in the revolutionary struggle.

This book proceeds as follows: It begins with the design and development of a navy. Sections examine shipbuilding in America, purchased ships from other countries, the desire to build 13 frigates, and a listing of ships authorized in 1776 and 1777.

Then, an operational history, showing the evolving navy in action. A key factor, of course, is when the French entered the war. Suddenly, the colonies had a major navy fighting on their side, transforming the Congress' strategy with respect to a navy.

What about the ships? I listing of ships authorized and built in the US (not counting ships manufactured elsewhere and purchased by the US) run from sloops-of-war (e.g., Ranger) to frigates (e.g., Randolph, Hancock, Warren, and Boston, among others) to a ship-of-the-line (America, which never saw service in the American navy--and was poorly manufactured anyway).

If you want a brief introduction to the Revolutionary American Navy, this is a good resource. . . .
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa376b8b8) out of 5 stars Excellent April 1 2014
By J. R. Trtek - Published on
Format: Paperback
The reviewer of 11/28/09 gives about as good an evaluation as one could expect, and there is little point in my parroting his remarks -- I'll simply endorse them, period. Especially given the size of the book, this is a truly wonderful introduction to the Revolutionary Navy of the infant U.S. A general survey and history is complemented by short descriptions of the ships constructed: a couple sloops, some sixteen frigates, and the ship-of-the-line America. Well illustrated and easy to follow, this is a marvelous little book.
HASH(0xa376bee8) out of 5 stars A must-have work, well up to Osprey's standards Jan. 26 2015
By Michael K. Smith - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Osprey practically holds the patent on nicely illustrated nuts-and-bolts military history, and this 48-page work (their standard size) is well up to standard. The American colonies went into the Revolution with a well-established shipbuilding industry but they still had to scramble to try to take on the Royal Navy. At first, they had to depend heavily on armed merchantmen functioning as privateers, and some of the colonies themselves had small navies, mostly to control smuggling, but before long brigs and small frigates were coming off the way -- some of them already under construction on British naval contracts but now turned to colonial purposes. Other ships were purchased from France and Spain.
I knew about the BONHOMME RICHARD, of course, a two-decker, and the sloop-of-war RANGER, but I was surprised to discover fourteen frigates -- though several of them were burned while still under construction to avoid their capture. Full details, technical and operational, are given for all of them, with succinct biographies of their captains. Armaments and necessary strategy are both dealt with thoroughly. The reproduced painting and drawings, plus Tony Bryan's first-rate technical illustrations, are entirely what one expects from this publisher. This is a must-have for anyone interested in the American Revolutionary navy.