BOOK REVIEW | The Battleship Holiday – The Naval Treaties and Capital Ship Design

By Robert C Stern

This book is a very useful and comprehensive summary of the sixty year “battleship era” that ran roughly from 1895 to 1955. While it focuses on the “Battleship Holiday” of the early twenties to early thirties when various international treaties tried to control the numbers and firepower of the world’s battleships, it is much more than that.

Much the same as through the “Cold War” and, most recently, the Chinese, Russian, American belligerence, the 1920s saw a major global “arms race”. It involved the British, Germans, French, Italians, Americans and Japanese. All of them built bigger and better battleships and all bent their mutually agreed rules to varying degrees.

They were magnificent and alarmingly expensive ships that, thanks to the development of naval aviation, rapidly became dinosaurs. So much so that now, less than a century later, none exist except for a few in American museums.

They and their story are brought to life very effectively in this excellent and very well illustrated book. Extensively researched and documented, it is comprehensive and absolutely fascinating for any naval history enthusiast.

Available from Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK.


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