Gradually evolving from the masted steam frigates of the mid-nineteenth century, the first modern cruiser is not easy to define, but for the sake of this book the starting point is taken to be Iris and Mercury of 1875. They were the RN's first steel-built warships; were designed primarily to be steamed rather than sailed; and formed the basis of a line of succeeding cruiser classes. The story ends with the last armoured cruisers, which were succeeded by the first battlecruisers (originally called armoured cruisers), and with the last Third Class Cruisers (Topaze class), all conceived before 1906. Coverage, therefore, dovetails precisely with Friedman's previous book on British cruisers, although this one also includes the wartime experience of the earlier ships.rn The two central themes are cruisers for the fleet and cruisers for overseas operations, including (but not limited to) trade protection. The distant-waters aspect covers the belted cruisers, which were nearly capital ships, intended to deal with foreign second-class battleships in the Far East. The main enemies contemplated during this period were France and Russia, and the book includes British assessments of their strength and intentions, with judgements as to how accurate those assessments were.rn As would be expected of Friedman, the book is deeply researched, original in its analysis, and full of striking insights – another major contribution to the history of British warships.
This is a work of the first importance, one that turns the list of the Victorian navies' cruisers into coherent responses to policy and strategy inputs.The Mariner's Mirror
If you're a fan of frigates and corvettes...you will find this book to be an excellent addition to your book collection.Model Ship World/Model Ship Builder
Well researched. A masterly grasp of detail. Lively and informative style. A thoroughly absorbing read.Warship World
The strength of friedman's approach is that he ties the technological aspects of cruiser design (armour, armament, and machinery) to the Royal Navy's tactical and strategic doctrine. The first chapter of British Cruisers is... [read full review]International Journal of Maritime History
It's a substantial large format book and to be honest I can't claim to have read it cover-to-cover yet, but even a cursory glance is enough to suggest that this one is probably up to... [read full review]Naval Weapons Discussion Board
Another superb book by Norman Friedman. It has eight chapters plus a lengthy introduction and an appendix on Vicker's cruisers. The book defines cruisers as those ships designed to protect trade and drive the... [read full review]Ship Model Forum
Following his magnificent book ‘British Cruisers – Two World Wars and after’ (and his two books on British destroyers from the earliest days to after the Second World War) this latest publication covers an era... [read full review]National Plastic Modeler Society
to post your own review and get a £1 voucher for every review you submit!
More titles by Norman Friedman