Parkes, Dr. Oscar.


FIRST EDITION, 1956. Xv + 701 + 4 (advt.,) pp., profusely illustrated with photographs & line drawings. D.j., 29 x 23cm. The d.j. is a "replacement" dust jacket for the Revised edition. Book & d.j. Nr.FINE. This is the first edition of the author’s magnum opus, Dr. Parkes began work on this, his lifetime study, in 1925 and such was the extent of his research that it was not completed until June 1956. He could not have known when he began the task that his book would encompass every modern British battleship from the Royal Navy’s first ironclad – WARRIOR of 1860 – now preserved at Portsmouth – to Britain’s last battleship, VANGUARD, which went to the breakers four years after publication. He describes every development in design, construction, armament and machinery and with early projects : muzzle-loaders, timber-hulled ironclads, the ram, the Barnaby era, the protective deck, and the passing out of the fleet of masts and yards. He also examines novel foreign battleships, breech-loaders, the Bombardment of Alexandria in 1882, the loss of HMS VICTORIA in 1893, Sir William White, French battleships, the Spanish-American War, and the rise of the German Navy. He continues with progress in gunnery, the Russo-Japanese War, the coming of the Dreadnoughts, the triple turrets, the 15-inch gun, the First World War and battleships in action, the post-war years, the new German Navy, the KGV class, World War II and its aftermath, etc. These are but a few of the many and varied aspects and serve to demonstrate the enormous scope of the book. There are no less than 118 chapters plus 4 appendices and the book contains a wealth of photographs and drawings. Dr. Parkes knew his subject well. He left the Royal Navy in 1919 to become joint-editor of Jane’s Fighting Ships in partnership with Maurice Prendergast, and from 1922 to 1930 with Francis McMurtrie. From 1930 to 1934 he was sole editor. The definitive study of Royal Navy battleships.

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