It’s that time of the year again when naval enthusiast’s pulses race a little faster because it’s when the annual ‘Warship’ publication is released. Published by Conway, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing (Osprey’s parent company), ‘Warship’ is highly regarded for the quality of its content. It contains a variety of featured articles but even so there is always plenty there of interest for everyone.
The 2017 edition, ‘Warship 2017’, has just been released. It is the 39th annual edition so it shows they must be doing something right. Editors are John Jordan (known particularly for his work in recent years on French naval vessels) and Stephen Dent. The 2017 edition consists of 208 pages and is well illustrated with black and white photos and line drawings.
The contents of this year’s edition is as follows:
1. The Japanese Battleships Kawachi and Settsu - Kathrin Milanovich.
Milanovich investigates the circumstances which dictated the unusual design of Japan’s first all-big-gun ships, in particular the lack of uniformity in the length in calibres of the 12in main guns.
2. The British Armour Plate Pool Agreement of 1903 - David Boursnell.
Boursnell explores the records of Britain’s armour plate makers to look for evidence of price fixing, cartels and other collaborations designed to protect profits.
3. From Danton to Courbet - John Jordan.
Jordan describes how France’s first dreadnoughts evolved from the six-ship Danton class, featured in Warship 2013, and in particular at the extent of British influence on the design.
4. DDL: The Australian Light Destroyer Project of the Early 1970s - Mark Briggs.
Briggs looks at the failed project to design and build a ‘patrol frigate’ to Australian specifications in the early 1970s.
5. From Elba to Europa - Michele Cosentino.
Cosentino looks at the early steps of Italy's Regia Marina towards creating a naval aviation capability, and describes the conversion and operation of its first seaplane carrier.
6. Modern Mine Countermeasures - Conrad Waters.
Waters examines the history of mine warfare at sea from its earliest beginnings to the present day.
7. The Light Aircraft Carrier Ibuki - Hans Lengerer.
Lengerer looks at the conversion of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) cruiser Ibuki as a light aircraft carrier following the Battle of Midway.
8. High Angle Control System (HACS): Debacle or Just in Time - Peter Marland.
Marland provides a history of the development of the Royal Navy’s controversial pre-war anti-aircraft fire-control system - the High Angle Control System (HACS), together with an informed analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.
9. HMS Surrey: Britain’s Last Treaty Cruiser - David Murfin.
Murfin has turned up many of the pieces previously missing from the jigsaw depicting what would have been the last of the Royal Navy’s 10,000-ton ‘treaty cruisers’.
10. After the Kaiser: The Imperial German Navy’s Light Cruisers After 1918 - Aidan Dodson.
Dodson reviews the careers and ultimate fates of the Imperial German Navy’s small force of modern light cruisers after the end of the Great War.
11. The US Navy’s Last Monitors - A D Baker III.
Baker tells the story of the last series of monitors to be built for the US Navy.
(Short articles and notes, generally highlighting little known aspects of warship history.)
(Reviews of naval books of the year.)
(The editors present a series of photographs of British battleships during the 1920s.)
This book should be available from all the usual places. I have put in a couple of links below for those interested.