Birth of the Battleship: British Capital Ship Design 1870-1881

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9781557502131: Birth of the Battleship: British Capital Ship Design 1870-1881

The British ship designers who plied their trade between 1870 and 1881 have long been criticized for being retrogressive and emblematic of the so-called dark ages of the British Admiralty. In this revisionist study, John Beeler goes beyond a purely technical analysis to examine crucial external factors that affected ship building--politics, finance, bureaucracy, strategy, and foreign threats. He makes a persuasive case that the Admiralty's sensible approach to the many problems of the decade laid the foundation for modern battleship design. Based largely on primary sources, the author's argument is backed up with solid details and many original plans that are reproduced here for the first time. This major new work will please both technical historians and everyone interested in the legend and lore of battleships.

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About the Author:

John Beeler, an associate professor of history at the University of Alabama, is the author of several books on British history. He lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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