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Battleships - Royal Navy (since 1918): books

A book on battleships of the Royal Navy? Here are books on the history, types and technology of battleships of the Royal Navy since 1918.

British Battleships 1939-45 (1) - Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Classes (Osprey)

With the outbreak of World War II, Britain's Royal Navy and her fleet of battleships would be at the forefront of her defence. Yet ten of the 12 battleships were already over 20 years old, having served in World War I, and required extensive modifications to allow them to perform a vital service throughout the six long years of conflict.

This title offers a comprehensive review of the development of these British battleships of the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Classes, from their initial commissioning to their peacetime modifications and wartime service, with detailed descriptions of the effectiveness of the main armament of individual ships. With specially commissioned artwork and a dramatic re-telling of key battleship conflicts, this book will highlight what it was like on board for the sailors who risked their lives on the high seas.

Author:Paul Wright
Specs:48 pages, 25 x 18.5 x 0.4 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.16 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2009)
Series:New Vanguard (154)
Book: British Battleships 1939-45 (1) - Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Classes (Osprey)

British Battleships 1939-45 (1) - Queen Elizabeth and Royal Sovereign Classes

Language: English

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HMS Royal Sovereign & Her Sister Ships - Battleships at War

This is the wartime history of the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign, along with the story of her four sister ships HMS Revenge, HMS Resolution, HMS Royal Oak and HMS Ramillies.
These ships were built and launched during World War I and although old and slow, and bitterly criticised by Churchill and others as being "Coffin Ships", the Royal Sovereign class battleships in fact played a valiant and doughty role in World War II.

The Royal Oak was an early loss, thanks mainly to pre-war Government parsimony, the other four ships played a full part, at Norway, bombarding the German invasion fleet in the Channel; escorting North Atlantic convoys; in the Mediterranean, in the Indian Ocean, the occupation of Madagascar and at Normandy and the South of France invasions.

HMS Royal Sovereign herself, was handed over to the Soviet Union for several years and her service there is also detailed along with their final demise post-war. Many original eyewitness accounts and photographs enhance the book.

Author:Peter C. Smith
Specs:224 pages, 24.5 x 16.5 x 2.7 cm / 9.7 x 6.5 x 1.06 in, hardback
Illustrations:30 b&w photographs, drawings
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2009)
Book: HMS Royal Sovereign & Her Sister Ships - Battleships at War

HMS Royal Sovereign & Her Sister Ships - Battleships at War

Language: English

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British Battleships 1939-45 (2) - Nelson and King George V Classes (Osprey)

Offers a comprehensive review of the seven British battleships of the Nelson and King George V classes from their initial commissioning to their peacetime modifications and wartime service. Moreover, with specially commissioned artwork and a dramatic re-telling of key battles, such as the duel between the Bismark and HMS Rodney, this book will highlight what it was like on board for the sailors who risked their lives on the high seas.

Author:Angus Konstam
Specs:48 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 0.5 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.2 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2009)
Series:New Vanguard (160)
Book: British Battleships 1939-45 (2) - Nelson and King George V Classes (Osprey)

British Battleships 1939-45 (2) - Nelson and King George V Classes

Language: English

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HMS Rodney - Slayer of the Bismarck and D-Day Saviour

The Royal Navy battleship HMS Rodney was one of the most famous warships of the Second World War and remains a legend in the pantheon of naval history. In May 1941 Rodney turned Bismarck, the pride of Hitler's navy, into twisted metal, then participated in hard-fought Malta convoys and later supported the D-Day landings.
Rodney's vital role, via formidable naval gunfire support, in breaking the morale of German troops during the battle for Normandy, is outlined here.

Through the eyewitness accounts of her sailors and marines we discover what it was like to live and fight in a battleship at war. We learn of the many famous fighting admirals who served in, or commanded, Rodney, including Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham and Admiral Sir John Tovey.
The stories of previous British warships to carry the name Rodney, dating back to the 1750s, are covered too, including the vessel that took on the batteries at Sevastopol during the Crimean War.

In addition to a fresh perspective on Bismarck's destruction, the author seeks to present new insights into the inter-war mutiny that saw Rodney dubbed 'the Red Ship' and a bomb hit in 1940 that nearly destroyed her.
There is even an account of how a group of HMS Rodney's sailors took part in a trailblazing British commando raid. It all makes for a thrilling, epic account of naval warfare.

Author:Ian Ballantyne
Specs:320 pages, 23.5 x 17 x 3.2 cm / 9.25 x 6.7 x 1.26 in, paperback
Illustrations:32 photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2012)
Book: HMS Rodney - Slayer of the Bismarck and D-Day Saviour

HMS Rodney - Slayer of the Bismarck and D-Day Saviour

Language: English

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King George V Class Battleships (ShipCraft)

The 'ShipCraft' series provides in-depth information about building and modifying model kits of famous warship types. Lavishly illustrated, each book takes the modeller through a brief history of the subject class, highlighting differences between sister-ships and changes in their appearance over their careers. This includes paint schemes and camouflage, featuring colour profiles and highly-detailed line drawings and scale plans.
The modelling section reviews the strengths and weaknesses of available kits, lists commercial accessory sets for super-detailing of the ships, and provides hints on modifying and improving the basic kit. This is followed by an extensive photographic gallery of selected high-quality models in a variety of scales, and the book concludes with a section on research references - books, monographs, large-scale plans and relevant websites.

The five battleships of the class covered by this volume were the most modern British capital ships to serve in the Second World War. They were involved in many famous actions including the sinking of both Bismarck and Scharnhorst, while Prince of Wales suffered the unfortunate distinction of being the first capital ship sunk at sea by air attack.

Author:Roger Chesneau
Specs:64 pages, 29.5 x 21 x 0.6 cm / 11.6 x 8.25 x 0.24 in, paperback
Illustrations:130 photographs and drawings
Publisher:Seaforth Publishing (GB, 2011)
Series:ShipCraft (2)
Book: King George V Class Battleships (ShipCraft)

King George V Class Battleships

Language: English

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The Last British Battleship : HMS Vanguard 1946-1960

The ninth HMS Vanguard, bearing one of the most illustrious names in the Royal Navy with honours from the Armada to Jutland, was the last and largest of Britain's battleships and was commissioned in 1946. Her design evolved from of the King George V class and incorporated much of the fully developed design for the two battleships, Lion and Temeraire, that were laid down in 1939 but never completed.

At 813ft length overall and 42,300 tons, she was the last battleship to be built in the world and the only ship of her class. She was built during the Second World War and incorporated existing twin 15in mountings, and was part of the Royal Navy's response to the combined and increasing number of German and Japanese battleships in the early 1940s.

She was immediately recognisable by her transom stern and high flared bow and had fine sea keeping ability. Her appearance after the end of hostilities, however, and her huge crew requirements proved a conundrum for the Royal Navy, her most significant role being that of Royal Yacht during the royal family's tour of South Africa in 1947. She was broken up at Faslane in 1960.

In this book by R A Burt her design, construction and career are all covered. Armour, machinery, power plants and weaponry are examined in detail and the author has produced some 35 superb plans, profiles and other line drawings for which he is renowned. The text is further enhanced by the addition of some 80 colour and black and white photographs from his collection.

Author:Ray Burt
Specs:128 pages, 29 x 25.5 x 1.8 cm / 11.4 x 10 x 0.71 in, hardback
Illustrations:80 b&w and colour photographs, 35 drawings
Publisher:Seaforth Publishing (GB, 2019)
Book: The Last British Battleship : HMS Vanguard 1946-1960

The Last British Battleship : HMS Vanguard 1946-1960

Language: English

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Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - England, Frankreich und UdSSR 1939-1945 (Typenkompass)

Ce livre de référence présente les cuirassiers utilisés par les marines de la France, le Royaume Uni et l'URSS pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale.

Pages of the book [TK] Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - GB, F und USSR 39-45 (1)

Chaque type est présenté à l'aide d'une photo, d'une description historique et d'une fiche technique.

Author:Ingo Bauernfeind
Specs:128 pages, 20.5 x 14 cm / 8.1 x 5.5 in, paperback
Illustrations:115 b&w and 3 colour photographs
Publisher:Motorbuch Verlag (D, 2012)
Series:Typenkompass
Book: Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - England, Frankreich und UdSSR 1939-1945 (Typenkompass)

Alliierte Schlachtschiffe - England, Frankreich und UdSSR 1939-1945

Language: German

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Super-Battleships of World War II: Montana-class, Lion-class, H-class, A-150 and Sovetsky Soyuz-class (Osprey)

At the start of World War II the battleship was still king, and all the major powers were designing even mightier battleships to surpass their most modern and powerful classes. But when World War II broke out, aircraft carriers would dominate naval warfare, and none of these monster warships were completed.

In this book, naval expert Mark Stille uncovers these lost battleships as they are reconstructed with superb new full-colour artwork. The US Navy wanted five Montana-class ships, based on the Iowas but with a heavier main battery and improved protection, and the Royal Navy began work on three 16in-gun Lion-class fast battleships.
The German Navy developed its H-class designs: initially an improved Bismack-class, they became more fantastical, culminating in the 141,500-ton, 20in-gun H-44. The Japanese A-150 was based on the Yamato-class but with 20.1in guns, while the 15 ships planned for the USSR's Sovetsky Soyuz-class would have rivalled the Montanas in size.
Explaining the design, intended roles and fate of these ships, this is the story of the last battleship designs in history.

Contents:
- Introduction
- Battleship design practices
- Protection
- Propulsion
- Firepower
- The super-battleship classes
- The United States Navy - the Montana-class
- The Royal Navy - the Lion-class
- The Kriegsmarine - the H-class
- The Imperial Japanese Navy - Design A-150
- The Soviet Navy - the Sovetsky Soyuz - class
- Analysis and conclusion
- Further reading
- Index.

Author:Mark Stille, Paul Wright
Specs:48 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 0.5 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.2 in, paperback
Illustrations:40 b&w photographs, drawings in colour
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2022)
Series:New Vanguard (314)
Book: Super-Battleships of World War II: Montana-class, Lion-class, H-class, A-150 and Sovetsky Soyuz-class (Osprey)

Super-Battleships of World War II: Montana-class, Lion-class, H-class, A-150 and Sovetsky Soyuz-class

Language: English

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The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak - In the Words of the Survivors

A book dedicated to HMS Royal Oak, a Revenge-class battleship of the British Royal Navy, infamously torpedoed at anchor by the German submarine U-47 on 14 October 1939. Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland when she became the first of the five Royal Navy battleships and battle cruisers sunk in the Second World War. The loss of life was heavy: of Royal Oak's complement of 1,234 men and boys, 833 were killed that night or died later of their wounds.

The raid made an immediate celebrity and war hero out of the German U-boat commander, Gušnther Prien, who became the first submarine officer to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. To the British, the raid demonstrated that the Germans were capable of bringing the naval war to their home waters, and the shock resulted in rapidly arranged changes to dockland security. Now lying upside-down in 30 m of water with her hull 5 m beneath the surface, Royal Oak is a designated war grave.

Author:Dilip Sarkar
Specs:160 pages, 20 x 12.5 x 1 cm / 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.39 in, paperback
Illustrations:103 b&w photographs
Publisher:Amberley Publishing (GB, 2012)
Book: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak - In the Words of the Survivors

The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak - In the Words of the Survivors

Language: English

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U-47 in Scapa Flow - The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939 (Osprey)

At the outset of World War II, Scapa Flow was supposed to be the safe home base of the British Navy - nothing could penetrate the defences of this bastion. So how, in the dead of night, was Gunther Prien's U-47 able to slip through the line of protective warships to sink the mighty Royal Oak?

This book provides the answer with an account of one of the most daring naval raids in history. Drawing on the latest underwater archaeological research, this study explains how Prien and his crew navigated the North Sea and Kirk Sound to land a devastating blow to the British. It reveals the level of disrepair that Scapa Flow had fallen into, and delves into the conspiracy theories surrounding the event, including an alleged cover-up by the then First Sea Lord, Winston Churchill.

Contents: Introduction - The U-Boat Threat (Initial Strategy) - Dönitz' Plan - The Raid - Aftermath - Analysis - Conclusion - Further Reading - Index.

Author:Angus Konstam
Specs:80 pages, 25 x 18.5 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2015)
Series:Raid (33)
Book: U-47 in Scapa Flow - The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939 (Osprey)

U-47 in Scapa Flow - The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939

Language: English

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British Battleship vs German Battleship : 1941-43 (Osprey)

At the outbreak of World War II, the four key Capital German ships comprised the Bismarck, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Their primary threats where the Royal Navy's King George V class battleships, the most modern British battleships in commission during World War II and some of the Navy's most powerful vessels.

Five ships of this class were built: HMS King George V, Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Howe (late 1942) and Anson (late 1942). The powerful vessels in this class would clash with the pride of the Kriegsmarine in two major engagements: first, during the Battle of the Denmark Strait and subsequent pursuit of the Bismarck between 24 and 27 May 1941, and again at the Battle of the North Cape on 26 December 1943.

Alongside the King George V class, the Royal Navy's two- ship Nelson-class (Nelson and Rodney), comprised Britain's only other battleships built in the interwar years. Both ships served extensively in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indian oceans during the war, but their moment of fame came when Rodney (together with King George V) chased down and bombarded the doomed Bismarck in May 1941.

This superbly detailed addition to the Duel series compares and contrasts the design and development of these opposing capital ships, and describes the epic clashes on the high seas that ended with the destruction of the Kriegsmarine's major naval assets.

Author:Angus Konstam
Specs:80 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 0.7 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2020)
Series:Duel
Book: British Battleship vs German Battleship : 1941-43 (Osprey)

British Battleship vs German Battleship : 1941-43

Language: English

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British Battleship vs Italian Battleship : The Mediterranean 1940-41 (Osprey)

During World War II's battle for control of the Mediterranean, both the British and Italian navies planned to bring their battle fleets into play. At the centre of both of these fleets was a core of battleships which both sides expected to play a decisive role in the conflict.
On 9 July 1940, the two navies met in the central Mediterranean, as two Italian battleships faced off against three of their British counterparts.

Christened the Battle of Calabria, the action allowed the ships to play to their strengths, engaging in a long-range gunnery duel, the very thing they had been designed for. Though both sides shot well, the only hit was scored by Warspite on the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare.
The Italians were forced to withdraw, and the action ended up being indecisive, but it was the largest fleet action fought in the Mediterranean during the war.
As well as this battle, there were other occasions during the war when both British and Italian battleships were present and influential, but during which they never engaged each other directly - the Battle of Spartivento on 27 November 1940, and the Battle of Cape Matapan on 28-29 March 1941.

Packed with full-colour artwork, carefully selected archive photographs and expert analysis, this title explores in detail the role played by British and Italian battleships in these encounters, and their influence in the Mediterranean theatre of World War II.

Author:Mark Stille
Specs:80 pages, 25 x 18.5 x 0.6 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.24 in, paperback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2020)
Series:Duel
Book: British Battleship vs Italian Battleship : The Mediterranean 1940-41 (Osprey)

British Battleship vs Italian Battleship : The Mediterranean 1940-41

Language: English

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Related titles:

British and German Battlecruisers

British and German Battlecruisers : Their Development and Operations

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English | hardback | 256 p. | 2016

Grand Fleet Battlecruisers 1906-1915 (ShipCraft)

Grand Fleet Battlecruisers 1906-1915

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[NVG] British Battlecruisers 1914-1918

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[NVG] British Battlecruisers 1939-45

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[TK] Schlachtkreuzer der Royal Navy - 1908-1945

Schlachtkreuzer der Royal Navy - 1908-1945

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British Battlecruisers 1905 - 1920

British Battlecruisers 1905 - 1920

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[DUE] British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser

British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser - 1914-16

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HMS Hood - Pride of the Royal Navy

HMS Hood - Pride of the Royal Navy

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English | paperback | 157 p. | 2009

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Last update:15-04-2024