The launch in 1906 of HMS Dreadnought, the world's first all-big-gun battleship, rendered all existing battle fleets obsolete, but at the same time it wiped out the Royal Navy's numerical advantage, so expensively maintained for decades. Already locked in an arms race with Germany, Britain urgently needed to build an entirely new battle fleet of these larger, more complex and more costly vessels. In this she succeeded spectacularly: in little over a decade fifty such ships were completed, almost exactly double what Germany achieved. It was only made possible by the country's vast industrial nexus of shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, armament firms and specialist armour producers, whose contribution to the creation of the Grand Fleet is too often ignored. This heroic achievement, and how it was done, is the subject of this book. It charts the rise of the large industrial conglomerates that were key to this success, looks at their reaction to fast-moving technical changes, and analyses the politics of funding this vast national effort, both before and during the Great War.
It also attempts to assess the true cost - and value - of the Grand Fleet in terms of the resources consumed. And finally, by way of contrast, it decribes the effects of the post-war recession, industrial contraction, and the very different responses to rearmament in the run up to the Second World War.
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 260 x 240 mm
"Technical descriptions in the book are fascinating as is the discussion and explanation of the commercial development of the supporting industries. Superbly written text is supported by numerous black and white photographs, plans - and pieces of equipment. Truly of international importance and the authors deserve to receive high accolades from their academic peers and the wider readership as well. One of the best naval titles I have seen and I doubt that a better book on the subject could be produced. The book will become a classic and is very highly recommended." Marine News There are a myriad of military history books churned out each year, yet very few are of true national or international importance within their field. This book is one of those exceptional publications. Both authors should receive high praise from amongst their peers, the historical & academic communities and general public alike. The information is priceless. The book is crammed full of fascinating (many unseen & unique) B/W photographs on almost every page. If you have any interest in this period of Naval history, Battleships, the Royal Navy or Naval shipbuilding, then you will do well to get hold of this book at your earliest convenience. DREADNOUGHT Ian's book, The Battleship Builders, co-written by Ian Buxton, looks at the history of battleship building in Great Britain as far back as 1906. Glaswegian