British Empire Books

The Royal Navy in Focus, 1940 - 1949

AuthorMike Critchley
PublisherMaritime Books
ISBN No.0907771114

"Whilst the 'Old Timers' mutter 'Ah, those were the days' as they turn these pages we youngsters can only sit back and take our hats off to the matelots of yesterday who went to sea - and fought a war - in some ships that we would think twice about crossing the Channel in today."

The concept behind this book is very simple. There are some 176 pages of black and white photographs of Royal Naval ships taken in the 1940's. There is a small commentary accompanying each of the photos detailing launch date, significant actions or events and the eventual destiny of each ships. But, essentially, this is a glorified photo album. Not that this is such a bad thing. The photos are very clear and the profiles of the ships are generally excellent and well defined. If you need to know what a particular ship looked like then this is a great starting place. Unfortunately, the organisation of the book could have been improved a little. The pictures are arranged alphabetically by ship name. It probably would have been more convenient to have had them arranged by ship type, for example, destroyers together, aircraft carriers etc... As it is, there is an index at the back which does arrange itself by vessel type. Unfortunately, it tells you what page number to look up, only the book itself does not list page numbers anywhere. So, the only wya to find a picture of a particular ship is to go back to looking it up alphabetically.

All in all, despite its limitations, this book is an excellent resource for the maritime enthusiast and would be a welcome addition to your library.

Buy this book at: Amazon

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by Stephen Luscombe