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Battleship
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Rating
'Well written and balanced in judgement and makes good use of the primary printed material in the Naval Library... Above all it deserves particular attention for its author's specialised knowledge of the development of naval gunnery and fire control.' Times Literary Supplement 'The Battleship Era will enhance the author's reputation as an authority on naval affairs. It describes the evolution, use and eclipse of the battleship.' Lloyds' List 'With crisp scholarship, Peter Padfield traces the development of the battleship from sailing ships much like Nelson's which had been fitted with auxiliary steam engines and had iron armour hung on their sides, to the ultimate: the Japanese battleship, Yamato, a giant of more than 70,000 tons firing 18 inch shells more than 20 miles.' Books and Bookmen 'A fascinating documentary account of particular interest to the armchair strategist.' Booklist 'A worthy addition to anyone's library that wishes to learn more of the rise and fall of the battleship.' Good Book Guide The battleship reigned supreme at sea from the 1860s to the 1940s, the ultimate symbol of naval power and national pride, queen on the naval chessboard. This book describes its evolution from the wooden man-of-war plated with iron armour to the great steel leviathan of the Second World War, and its ultimate displacement as arbiter of naval power by the aircraft carrier. At the same time the author explains how strategy and battle tactics changed in response to the mounting of ever larger guns with greater range and penetrative power, and the development of threatening new weapon systems, particularly torpedoes, torpedo boats, mines and submarines; and he explores the chilling reality of action with vivid descriptions of major naval battles including the Yalu in the first Sino-Japanese War, Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, Jutland in the First World War and many lesser known engagements. The pioneer naval architects and engineers and the commanders who fought these great ships in action, Togo, Jellicoe, Beatty, Scheer, Hipper, Cunningham, Lee, Oldendorf find their way naturally into this absorbing, often horrifying history of what was once the arbiter of naval power.
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About the Author

Peter Padfield is a leading naval historian and biographer. He trained for the sea as a cadet in H.M.S.Worcester, subsequently serving in the P & O Line. In 1957 he sailed under Cdr. Alan Villiers in the replica pilgrim bark, Mayflower II, from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where Mayflower is now preserved. Working his passage to the south Pacific he sailed among the Solomon Islands before leaving the sea and settling with his wife in Suffolk, England. His first major book, The Titanic and the Californian defended the captain of the Californian from the charge of not going to Titanic's rescue. He subsequently turned to naval subjects, particularly great gunnery, strategy and tactics. His biography of the U-boat admiral, Karl Donitz, led him to a portrayal of submarine warfare in War Beneath the Sea, and to biographies of other leading Nazis, Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess, subsequently translated into many European languages. Latterly he has returned to naval history, attempting to bring it out of the specialist closet and present it as a major determinant of the modern world in a trilogy whose second volume, Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom, won the Mountbatten Maritime Prize, 2003."

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