British Cruisers of the Victorian Era by Norman Friedman
English | 15 Oct. 2012 | ISBN: 1591140684, 184832099X | 352 Pages | EPUB (True) | 30.1 MB
Gradually evolving from sailing frigates, the first modern cruiser is not easy to define, but this book starts with the earliest steam paddle warships, covers the evolution of screw-driven frigates, corvettes and sloops, and then the succeeding iron, composite and steel-hulled cruising ships.
The story ends with the last armoured cruisers, which were succeeded by the first battlecruisers (originally called armoured cruisers), and with the last Third Class Cruisers (Topaze class), all conceived before 1906. Coverage, therefore, dovetails precisely with Friedman's previous book on British cruisers, although this one also includes the wartime experience of the earlier ships. The two central themes that emerge are cruisers for the fleet and cruisers for overseas operations, including (but not limited to) trade protection. The distant-waters aspect covers the belted cruisers, which were nearly capital ships, intended to deal with foreign second-class battleships in the Far East. The main enemies contemplated during this period were France and Russia, and the book includes British assessments of their strength and intentions, with judgements as to how accurate those assessments were. As would be expected of Friedman, the book is deeply researched, original in its analysis, and full of striking insights - another major contribution to the history of British warships.
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