Naval book recommendations

Hinchinbrooke

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I just got it, on your recommendation, and am to the point where Invincible has just blown up.

This is an EXCELLENT book. Not only for getting all the 1st hand accounts, but also because of the little factual nuggets buried in them, which are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find in other sources. Such as Indomitable still having 4" guns on the midships turrets at Jutland, because one of the witnesses to Invincible's demise was hiding behind one. You can search the standard and also the rare and obscure reference books in vain for that bit of data.
I'm glad you're finding it useful. As I stated initially, it really is a tremendous read (my copy will be returning to me shortly................. my father had to give it a go!).

As for the Conway books, given that there's really not much else out there that attempts to be so universal, they're a godsend. Having said that, I always like to verify the data using other sources (for modelling purposes), as inaccuracies do exist............ some length/beam figures I've found a little dodgy, etc.
 
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jwb3

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I've got a couple books that relate to Jutland. No idea whether they should be considered authoritative or not...

'The Smoke Screen of Jutland', Commander John Irving, David McKay Company, 1967.

This one has illustrations of the fleet cruising formations in the minutes leading up to first contact, and a number of other very effective illustrations of key aspects of the battle. I read it when I was, perhaps, ten years old, and as far as I'm concerned it not only explained everything clearly enough for a 10-year-old, it also told me everything I ever need to know about the battle as an adult. :)


'Battleships of World War I', Anthony Preston, Galahad Books, 1972.

Contains entries for every dreadnought and pre-dreadnought of all the major navies in the war, with class statistics, line drawings of the top and side profiles of a typical member of the class, and a very brief chronology of each ship as well as of the class as a whole. Usually also a picture or two of a ship from each class.


Most classes have statistics for the following:
Displacement
Dimensions
Guns (down to the machine guns, in a few cases)
Torpedo Tubes
Armour (usu. includes belt and decks, the other parts vary)
Machinery (with a statement of "x hp = y knots")
Fuel Capacity
Endurance (generally @ 10 knots, and some noted as "approximate")
Complement
Cost

The downside is that it only covers capital ships. This includes battle cruisers, but not armored cruisers (much less CLs and DDs).


FWIW, Bullethead, it gives the endurance of the Helgoland class as 9400 miles at 10 knots. About Indomitable and 4" guns it says the following:
"After Jutland... All 4in guns were removed from the turret tops in 1916-17, and in 1917 four 4in guns were resited in new positions on either side of the forward superstructure, and three 4in anti-aircraft guns were added."


John
 

Crinius

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Could someone plz recommend a book about the RN Ships? As Iam German I have a lot about the HSF but virtually nothing about the RN. My only one being a Osprey book about Britsch BC`s and from my grandgrandpa a book from 1914 "Weyers Flootentaschenbuch" which is something like the Jane`s books. These books were used by the HSF and later the Kriegsmarine. Even today you can find these books on board the Bundesmarine ships.
 

asheshouse

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Bullethead is it possible to find the data one would need in the plans of the ships and the test trials ? Is one able to get the records of these ship from the governments that built them. I am saying this as I am asking if one can. The company's that built the ships should still have the drawings and specks of the ships.
Is it hard to get the company's to release the records to a person? I am asking as I have never tried to get something like this.
In UK most of the original docs are no longer with the companies (even if the companies still exist). Most have gone into museums and libraries. Two main sources in UK are probably The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London and the Imperial War Museum, also in London. Both allow access to the records by prior arrangement. A little known gem is the City Library in Portsmouth which has a huge collection of naval history records in its reference section, due to its proximity to the Historic Naval Docks at Portsmouth. They used to be very relaxed about people taking copies, but that was a while ago.

Book recommendations:

A Naval History of Britain - N.A.M.Rodgers - In three volumes.
He's still writing vol 3 but the first two were outstanding.
Vol.1 660 - 1649, Vol.2 1650 - 1815, Vol.3 1816 - 1945

WWI -- Castles of Steel, Robert K Massie -- A good overview of RN in WWI mainly from UK perspective.

Jutland - The German Perspective - VE Tarrant - well illustrated quick read.
 
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PepsiCan

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Books

Hi

Can anybody recommend some books on the RJW war? What I am looking for is a book on both the naval and the land war, as well as the politics that surrounded the conflict. Either English or Dutch language titles :)

Thanks!
 

Bullethead

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Norm's got a good list of books on his RJW page here: http://home.austin.rr.com/normkoger/RJW.html. These are mostly about naval aspects, however.

A quick-and-dirty book that covers both land and sea operations is the Osprey "Essential Histories" series #31: The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 by Geoffrey Jukes. This is just a quick overview, of course, but worth getting as a start.

I used to have a real overall book but I haven't been able to find it in several years so I can't tell you it's name :(.
 

Bullethead

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OT Book Review: Seize the Fire

For Xmas I was surprised to receive Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar, Adam Nicolson, 2005, ISBN 0-06-075361-7. I'd never heard of this book before. It was given to me on a whim by somebody who knows nothing of naval history, or the book itself, just because she knows I'm into that subject. The major selling point for her was that the dust jacket had extra sections folded back forward along the 1st and last pages instead of just the usual short tabs inside the covers. What can I say? Women judge books by their covers :D. But feminine intuition was borne out by the contents.

I have to say that this is absolutely the strangest, or at least the most different, book of naval history I've ever read. Despite (or maybe because of) that, I found it highly interesting and enjoyable, and therefore recommend it.

Another thing I have to admit: when I opened the package, I thought, "Oh Gawd, another Trafalgar book." What naval grog doesn't already know the OOBs, the events of the battle, which ships locked up with which enemies, who surrendered to whom, and all that? But that's emphatically NOT what this book's about. Like I said, it's strange and different.

In the preface, the author spells out what this book is about:
Any description of Trafalar cannot confine itself to the facts of rigging and armament, weather and weight of broadside. Other, less material expectations are just as potent a presence in battle as the concrete realities of a ship in action. This book addresses that underlayer, the subtlest and slipperiest of historical levels: pre-conceptions, and the way they shape present behaviour. It is an attempt to describe the mental landscape of the people who fought and commanded at one of the great battles in history and it asks, in particular, why and how the idea of the hero flowered there.​
The book's primary focus, given its interest in heroes, is on the Brit side and on Nelson in particular. However, the national psyches of Spain and France at that time are delved into as well. The book draws on many threads of contemporary pop culture to attempt to show that because the people involved thought X, they did Y, and thus Z happened. Even the title, Seize the Fire, which sounds imaginative by itself, is actually from Blake's poem "Tyger tyger burning bright". And even though the book mentions that Blake hated Nelson, it shows that they both had many of the same mental attitudes, as did most of their contemporaries.

Like I said, it's a strange bit of naval history. The blood and thunder is in there eventually, but the focus then is on how people reacted to the horrific situations they created and/or found themselves in, rather than on the maneuvers of ships. This, and the storm afterwards, all happen in the 2nd half of the book, and by then you've got a handle on thought processes of those involved, so their reactions seem no surprise by their own standards, although somebody who's never been in a similar mess might be shocked.

Anyway, it's a good read. So good that it's hard to put down, despite adding little to the dry factual knowledge that naval grogs hold dear. But all the while you're turning pages, you'll still be struck by the strangeness of the book. But perhaps that's part of the appeal.
 

Cherper

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Re: OT Book Review: Seize the Fire

I agree. I read this book about 3 weeks ago. It is a very entertaining read.
 

TBR

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Historical fiction set in the Russo-Japanese war

Do any of you know good historical fiction set in the timeset of DG:TRJWAS ?

The only book that comes to my mind is Dov Silvermans "Tairo" which goes from 1894 till the peace of 1905 and covers both the Chinese an Russian wars. This book is the final of the "John Mung" series which begins shortly before Perrys expedition, sadly out of print.

http://www.amazon.com/Tairo-Dov-Silverman/dp/0586203524/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207395921&sr=8-7
 

Bullethead

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Re: Historical fiction set in the Russo-Japanese war

Some of the AAR threads in this forum could qualify as historical fiction. Some guys really get into the creative writing part of it. I recommend the various "Rurik's War" threads especially.
 

WallysWorld

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Re: Historical fiction set in the Russo-Japanese war

I have "Buller's Dreadnaught" by Richard Hough which has a Royal Navy officer at Tsushima as an observer.

Hough also wrote "The Fleet that had to Die"

Mentioned in the other thread.
 

TBR

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Does anybody know this book? Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperia

Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941

This purports to be a complete history of the IJN from 1887 to 1941 covering the technological and cultural influences shaping the organisational evolution of the IJN.

http://www.amazon.de/Kaigun-Strategy-Technology-Imperial-1887-1941/dp/0870211927/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books-intl-de&qid=1209297835&sr=1-15

I am very tempted, but the price is a little steep, so has anyone of you read this book?
 

Atago

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Re: Does anybody know this book? Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imp

I have it. Good book, if you're interested in the operation of the IJN and how the high command did (and didn't) work and such this is worth the money. They also cover (of course) tsushima, the washington treaty, the plans the Japanese had for the war with the US (it would be their equivelant to war plan orage - war plan Blue?). There are bits about how they planned to use smoke screens and long range air spotted battleship firepower to defeat the USN - things like that. I don't have it with me (at work) but I found it worth the money.
If you want more specifics I'll try to check here later when I get home and answer questions about it.
 

Crinius

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Re: Does anybody know this book? Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imp

I also have it. In my view this is the best book about the IJN.
 

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Re: Does anybody know this book? Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imp

Get Kaigun and War plan Orange and you'll have the plans for both the US and Japan on how they thought they were going to fight the Pacific war. Kaigun is the better of the two IMO by far - but comparing both sides war plans is most interesting.
 

TBR

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Re: Does anybody know this book? Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imp

Just ordered it, lost some Euros in dithering as the dollar just gained a little on the Euro.

Edit: @Crinius: Losing direct access to the FIST is one of the major drawbacks of not being stationed in Wilhelmshaven anymore, I'd bet they have the book there, and me living practically next door until last year...
 
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Crinius

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Re: Does anybody know this book? Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imp

Edit: @Crinius: Losing direct access to the FIST is one of the major drawbacks of not being stationed in Wilhelmshaven anymore, I'd bet they have the book there, and me living practically next door until last year...
Hehehe :cool:
 

PepsiCan

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Book recommendation required

Hi everyone

My holiday is coming up so I am looking for some book recommendations. I very much liked Robert K Massie's "Dreadnought" and "Castles of Steel". Now I am looking for a similar type book about WW2 in the pacific theatre or the Atlantic theatre. So, not necessarily a detailed account of the battles, but also a treatment of the strategic impact and the characters of the people involved.

Any ideas?
 

Bullethead

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Re: Book recommendation required

The Imperial Japanese Navy by Dull is a good general history from the IJN side. It's a little dated these days but still a good book.
 
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