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What are you reading?
Posted: 24 November 2012 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 436 ]
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Right now, I’m reading the latest and greatest issue of Free Inquiry.

I’ve got a copy of British Cruisers of the Victorian Era by Norman Freidman on the way from Amazon.

(For any warship buffs who are serious about studying this aspect of history, see http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591140684/ref=pe_175190_21431760_M3T1_SC_dp_i1  )


Sounds interesting, does it include their role in the Battle of Jutland?


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Posted: 24 November 2012 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 437 ]
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Sounds interesting, does it include their role in the Battle of Jutland?

I’d be greatly surprised if it didn’t. I only just got it this evening so I’ll have to let you know.

Consistant with most of Friedman’s work, this book is primarily a design history rather then a combat record.

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Posted: 25 November 2012 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 438 ]
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Please do. I’ll bet that the cruisers were part if the redesigned all steel navy envisioned by Jackie Fisher. Have anything on the HMS Dreadnaught?

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Posted: 25 November 2012 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 439 ]
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I’ll bet that the cruisers were part if the redesigned all steel navy envisioned by Jackie Fisher.

Fisher certainly gets a mention towards the end. The guy was a nutjob but there were a lot of things he was right about. He’s the reason the Royal Navy was actually a combat worthy force to be reckoned with instead of some static institution obsessed with how shiny the brass was.

Have anything on the HMS Dreadnaught?

Not that I saw. This book is about the development of Royal Navy cruisers up to the time of the Vistorian era, although the battlecruiser concept is being discussed.

If you’re interested, R.A. Burt’s books on British battleships have been brought back into print. (See http://www.amazon.com/British-Battleships-1919-1945-Revised-Edition/dp/1591140528/ref=pd_ys_ir_all_2 and http://www.amazon.com/British-Battleships-World-War-One/dp/1591140536/ref=pd_sim_b_1 )

I’ve hinted to Mum that I would not object to seeing these show up under the Christmas tree.  wink

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Posted: 26 November 2012 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 440 ]
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I heard that. I know that Dreadnaught was a bit before the cruisers and it was a battleship but the innovations in design and power plant might have had an influence on the cruisers you mentioned.. Especially in armor. I’ll check out the books you posted. It will be interesting to see how they stack up against the German cruisers too.


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Posted: 26 November 2012 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 441 ]
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garythehuman - 23 November 2012 04:27 PM
dansmith62 - 20 November 2012 07:08 AM

‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg. Excellent book.

Have it on my Kindle, haven’t gotten to it yet.

Let me know what you think, when you find the time.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 05:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 442 ]
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I know that Dreadnaught was a bit before the cruisers and it was a battleship but the innovations in design and power plant might have had an influence on the cruisers you mentioned..

Not really. The development of the cruisers which are the subject of the book goes back in a chain to the early 1800’s when the fist wooden frigates were converted to steam.

The “Line-Of-Battle-Ship” is a completely different type and is a ship that was intended to slug it out in the line of battle. These were the monsters with three and even up to four decks with rows of cannons. This is the type that all modern battleships trace their linage back to. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battleship for a quick and dirty run down on this, with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Dreadnought_(1906) for the HMS Dreadnought. The latter was in fact an idea which Fisher came up with but by this time, so were other nations, notably the United States. Fisher was the one who had the juice to make it happen in Great Britain.

Which is not to say that lessons learned from one type were not tied to the other. Armour is still armour and the same priniciples still apply.

It will be interesting to see how they stack up against the German cruisers too.

In terms of fighting qualities, the Germans were more or less on par with the British but where they really did well and where the British just plain sucked was damage control. German ships proved to be enormously resistant to battle damage and an example was the SMS Seydlitz which was severely mauled at Jutland.

The British might have done better in this regard with their battlecruisers were it not for the appalling safety shortcuts they took in ammunition handling.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 443 ]
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Not really. The development of the cruisers which are the subject of the book goes back in a chain to the early 1800’s when the fist wooden frigates were converted to steam.

Now you’re really getting into my field of interest, the “walls of oak” so to speak. I’m a big pre-steam fan and Napoleonic Navies are my passion. From sloops to 1st raters. I have several books including plans for some of the better known ships and have built a few full rigged models. Got to “know the ropes” as you blue water sailors say. I wondered about the armor plating on the cruisers and the thickness of the belts but I’m sure they wanted speed too. BTW, you don’t find many models of WW I ships on the market. Of course, there was only one major sea action.


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Posted: 26 November 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 444 ]
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Anyone read Robert Massie‘s books Dreadnought and Castles of Steel? I thought they were fantastic, particularly the first: close-in history by a very talented writer.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 445 ]
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Anyone read Robert Massie‘s books Dreadnought and Castles of Steel? I thought they were fantastic, particularly the first: close-in history by a very talented writer.

I read it when it first came out but haven’t read Castles yet. I plan to get it on my kindle over the holidays. Dreadnought is a massive book and a good read if you want to delve into one of the major causes of the war and how the English dynasty is tied into the other empires! That Victoria was a schemer.

 

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Posted: 27 November 2012 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 446 ]
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Now you’re really getting into my field of interest, the “walls of oak” so to speak. I’m a big pre-steam fan and Napoleonic Navies are my passion

Then you probably have some of Robert Gardiner’s works as he deals with the design histories of frigates as well as the full range of light to heavy warships of this era.

Of course, I have Howard I. Chappelle’s “The American Sailing Navy.” and “American Sailing Ships” While they aren’t perfect, he preserved a lot of primary source material by way of surviving line drawings from American and British archives. These are essential references.

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Posted: 28 November 2012 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 447 ]
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Rereading The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 24 December 2012 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 448 ]
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“One Second After” by William Forstchen. Maybe its the fact that I just lived through a ten day period of no power and gas rationing but this book really made you think. Its about the people of a town who live through the aftermath of an EMP attack on the U.S.  Its a drama but its a reasonably well thought out account of the evolution of the response of this town over time to the challenges they face from day one when everyone thinks its just a run of the mill black out to the resumption of some sort of “normalcy” a year later when they are still on their own with no help in sight.

Unfortunately its written by someone with a republican bent. Survivalists will love this and I nearly refused to buy it when i saw there was a forward by Newt Gingritch but if you can get past that the story will make you think.

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Posted: 26 December 2012 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 449 ]
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I’m reading “The Impending Crises: US history 1848-1861.  By David Potter(I think)
Good book. But very dry in places.(like the rest of the US history books I’ve read so far.)
Heavy on state and national machine politics(very heavy) light on culture, technology, science, and “human interest”.(very light!!)
I’m not one for human interest in my reading, but even this could use a sprinkling.
Nonetheless-this book will give any reader a very good insight into the reason for the Civil War.
People say it’s because of Slavery.  They’re right.  But this book, and the preceding book I read(maybe all the preceding books on US history)fill in the important dynamics and politics and nationalism of the thing.
Yes the Civil war happened because of slavery.  But how, and why.

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Posted: 27 December 2012 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 450 ]
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Vy, have you seen the “Lincoln” movie yet? If you have any interest in the politics of the War and the political wrangling that went on to pass the 13Th amendment this movie, based on Doris Goodwin’s book, shows how he was able to get it passed despite the racial prejudice in both House and Senate. Tommy Lee Jones played Thadeus Stevens to the hilt!

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