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(New edition) This comprehensive encyclopedia focuses exclusively on destroyers and frigates. The opening section both explains the rationale behind the technological development of destroyers and frigates and illustrates the varied manner of their use. Three major country-by-country sections then deal with, firstly, the destroyer in its formative years up until the end of World War I, and secondly, its classic phase and transformation into a specialist anti-aircraft escort. The third section covers the development of the frigate since its inception in 1940. Technical description is blended with informed comment on the performance and effectiveness of each of over 250 types and classes, making this an essential reference, and also an enjoyable read for anyone interested in naval history. The book examines destroyer and frigate evolution, including special topics such as the origins of the torpedo boat, frigates versus high-speed submarines, and frigates in the missile age. Specification boxes provide each vessel's country of origin, the company that built the ship, construction and completion dates, displacement, dimensions, armament, machinery, power and performance. A collection of over 500 colour and black-and-white photographs illustrating each type of warship, and there are fascinating quotes from military leaders, plus a glossary of key terms and abbreviations.
Bernard Ireland has spent his working life with the Royal Naval Scientific Service and its successor organizations, gaining experience in many aspects of naval research. To an already deep interest in naval history he has thus added a considerable in-depth knowledge of warship technology, enabling him to assess a design's strengths and weaknesses. In a parallel career, he has acted as freelance technical illustrator to major shipping companies and other organizations. He has written 30 books on maritime technological or historical subjects, and has also contributed to many partworks and journals.