by Cmdr. TOM WOODRUFFE Warships An Illustrated London News Boxed Book (M. Joseph 30s.)
THIS country emerged from the first great war at the end of 1918 with the largest and most powerful navy afloat : with squadrons of huge battleships, cruisers and destroyers by the score and with the first aircraft carrier in the world.
This last was only in the experimental stage and the dominant weapon afloat was still the big gun. able to sink an enemy twenty miles away. But this was also a limited weapon, being deadly only for as far as a man could see: at night, in fog or thick weather the great gun was largely ineffectual. That ugly carrier was one day to make obsolete those support battleships for the aeroplane could outrange any gun, attacking an enemy up to a hundred miles away.
In the next fifty years radar, new weapons and methods of propulsion have completely transformed the appearance of the ships of the Royal Navy. "Warships," takes the reader through sea changes in an interesting and attractive way by means of excellent pictures and photographs and well informed notes.
All ships are fascinating, warships more than most others. In this age of electronics and radar, of missiles and computers. the reader would do well to ponder the words of an admiral of the last century who had served through the transition from sail to steam and from the Press Gang to Continuous Service. "It is the men not the ships, that constitute a Navy."