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Review for The Last British Battleship HMS Vanguard 1946-1960

Author/Director : R A Burt

Format : Book

The last books I reviewed, published by Seaforth, were two volumes on Coastal Forces [see elsewhere on this site] which dealt with the smallest WW2 Naval craft so it is quite a jump to the largest battleship we ever built. Vanguard’s displacement was about 500 MTBs a truly magnificent ship which I know from personal experience having been on board at a Navy Day in Portsmouth in the late 1950s. So my question was is this book as good as the Coastal Forces books and will it do the ship justice?
My hopes were fully realised by the text, the photographs and the technical drawings. The text is very technical in parts which truly reflects the subject but in the main can be easily followed. Although there are a few difficult bits where unexplained initials are use. The photographs are many and varied showing every stage of the ship from builders yard to breakers yard. One very poignant picture, the last in the book, is of the bow section just lying forlorn in the mud.
The technical drawings, nearly all by the author, are superb. The drawings are of the whole ship including two three page and one four page spreads. There are also many detailed drawings of weapons systems, radar etc. All drawings are fully annotated as appropriate to their scale.
All this is presented in a beautifully produced large portrait format, about 260mm X 300mm.
We very highly recommend this well researched work.
Footnote: There is an error in the title as the Royal Navy still has a battleship in commission
i.e. H M S Victory, flying the flag of the Second Sea Lord/C-in-C Naval Home Command.

Published by : Seaforth Publishing, 2019
ISBN : 978 1 5267 5226 0

Review last updated : 2019-08-31 14:01:17

See also : other "Later 20th Century and Modern" reviews