1980 reprinting; small quarto; cream spine with red text; jacket is age discolored, two taped rips in front, one in back, general shelfwear; boards are strong and clean; textblock is clean; pp 215. Full-priced Rockville.
Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. 0870211048. This specific hardback book is in very good condition with some minor soiling or wear to the cover or edges and corners but with a hard board cover that has a tight binding. The pages are clean, crisp, unmarked and uncreased with some minor foxing to the page edges and with a name written inside the front cover. The dust jacket is in very good condition with some cover or edge wear. We package all books in custom cardboard book boxes for shipment and ship daily with tracking numbers.; "In the history of naval warfare probably no type of ship has provided more firepower per ton than the monitor-indeed they were little more than a huge gun mounting fitted on a simple, self-propelled raft. Designed and built rapidly to fulfil an urgent need for heavy shore-bombardment during World War I, they were top secret in conception, and largely forgotten when the short-lived requirement was over. Nevertheless, they were important ships, which played a significant role in many Great War campaigns and drove many of the advances in long-range gunnery later applied to the battle fleet. Indeed, their value was rediscovered during the Second World War when a final class was built. Monitors were largely ignored by naval historians until Ian Buxton produced the first edition of this book in 1978. Although published privately, this became an established classic and copies of the first edition are now almost unobtainable, so this new edition will be welcomed by many. It has been completely revised, extended and redesigned to a generous large format which allows material deleted from the original edition for lack of space to be restored."; 10.50 X 8.20 X 0.90 inches; 215 pages.
Very Good in Very Good dust jacket; Musty, owner signature and embossed stamp on front free endpaper. 0870211048. Index, bibliography, photos, illustrations. Red cloth binding. "The first book ever to focus on the miniature battleships that served in the Royal Navy between 1914 and 1965".; 4to 11"-13" tall; 215 pages.
During the period 1914-1965 the Royal Navy had constructed some forty-odd specialized, limited-role vessels termed "monitors". Since this type of vessel was so limited in scope, as soon as wartime need for them was over they usually were scrapped. This fact of short life and few numbers has resulted in a lack of satisfactory documentation in the literature on this type of vessel.
It was to correct this literary oversight that Dr. Ian Buxton wrote his book Big Gun Monitors. Dr. Buxton wished to compile a comprehensive account of the design, construction, and operational histories of this most singular type of vessel; in this he has succeeded admirably. His book should appeal not only to the professional with its detailed account of the evolution of design, but also to the general military history buff with its intriguing accounts of the operational histories.
The British monitor came into being due to a WWI need for a potent bombardment vessel that could be used in shallow water close inshore. Precious capital ships were inappropriate for the task; such a vessel had to have capital ship armament but shallow draft and expendability. Thus, the monitor concept was formulated: maximum armament on a minimum hull, strong torpedo and mine protection, good gunfire protection, fair seakeeping, and modest speed and endurance. Due to the pressures of war and the expendable nature of these vessels, they were to be designed and built with extreme rapidity, utilizing the simplest type of construction.
Considering the urgency and the design limitations, it should not be surprising that the history of these vessels provides many interesting examples of what can go awry in ship design projects evolving under such conditions. Monitors seldom achieved their design weight and stability; displacement was generally much more than intended, with subsequent deleterious effect on draft and performance. While draft itself never proved to be a serious limitation, with only one ship of this type running aground, speed on the earlier examples tended to be abysmal; headway often could not be maintained against even moderate wind or current. Stability tended to be good to exceptional on the larger torpedo-bulged monitors, but some of the smaller non-bulged ones were atrocious. Roll in one case was as much as 50 degrees; a salvo fired athwart-ship could roll the deck edge under water. All manner of design deficiencies could be found in some specimens, from structural weaknesses to recurrent propulsion fires, etc.
However, as the monitor evolved, its worst deficiencies were corrected. The mobility, accuracy, and sustained rate of fire that monitors were to develop made them invaluable in support of shore assaults. Compared to cruisers and battleships, when utilized for the same purpose, monitors were to prove themselves much more cost-effective. It was the general march of technology, and perhaps in particular the advent of truly awesome air bombardment capability, that was to render these vessels ultimately obsolete, but in their time they were quite relevant. We shall not see their like again, but we may read and wonder about them, thanks to Ian Buxton's remarkable book.
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