Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn

British Destroyers & Frigates (Paperback)

The Second World War and After

WWII Seaforth Naval

By Norman Friedman
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781526702821
Published: 17th May 2017


£20.00 was £25.00

You save £5.00 (20%)

You'll be £20.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase British Destroyers & Frigates. What's this?
+£4 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £30
(click here for international delivery rates)

Order within the next 7 hours, 8 minutes to get your order processed the next working day!

Since the Second World War the old categories of destroyer and frigate have tended to merge, a process that this book traces back to the radically different Tribal class destroyers of 1936. It deals with the development of all the modern destroyer classes that fought the war, looks at the emergency programmes that produced vast numbers of trade protection vessels - sloops, corvettes and frigates - then analyses the pressures that shaped the post-war fleet, and continued to dominate design down to recent years.

Written by America's leading authority, it is an objective but sympathetic view of the difficult economic and political environment in which British designers had to work, and benefits from the author's ability to compare and contrast the US Navy's experience.

Norman Friedman is renowned for his ability to explain the policy and strategy changes that drive design decisions, and his latest book uses previously unpublished material to draw a new and convincing picture of British naval policy over the previous seventy years and more.

Hugely successful with enthusiasts and professionals alike from its first publication in 2006, this paperback is the book's third printing.

A solid work that certainly deserves a place in the bookcase.

Mercator, Jan/Feb/March 2018 – reviewed by Louis Van Cant

Norman Friedman is a highly regarded, prolific author on warship designs, particularly those for the Royal Navy.
An excellent read and a valuable reference book, highly recommended to all interested in warship design and the new publication is the opportunity to acquire a copy if missed in 2006.

Marine News

The book itself is well illustrated with over 200 photographs (in black and white) of vessels as well as ship plans by A D Baker III and detail drawings from Alan Raven. The book not only covers the Royal Navy but also Commonwealth vessels from Australian and Canada, among others...

This book is a must-have for anyone interested in the development of the Royal Navy through the second half of the 20th century.

Read the complete review here.

Thomo's Hole - reviewed by Ian Thompson

Everyone who did not get the old edition should obtain this one. It is essential reading for those who wish to understand the recent past of the Royal Navy.

Navy News, October 2017 – reviewed by Prof. Eric Grove

This a very valuable volume for anyone interested
in the history and development of the warships of
the 20th Century, particularly for British destroyers
and frigates of all types.

Ships in Scale, Autumn 2017 – reviewed by Roger Marsh

A comprehensive survey of the design history and development of the Royal Navy's greyhounds of the sea.

Warships IFR, September 2017 – reviewed by Peter Hore

As told by Friedman the destroyer saga from 1936 to the early 2000s is complex, exhibiting the constant battle between changing strategic challenges, staff requirements and available resources. The book is well illustrated and, as is usual in a Friedman warship design history, complemented by the peerless ship plans of A D Baker III. British Destroyers and Frigates is a must for the warship design enthusiast and historian.

Read the complete review here.

Australian Naval Institute, Tim Coyle

This is a large format book, just over A4 size, and weighing in at 352 pages, and it needs to be because it's covering a lot of Naval development!

Mr Friedman begins his narrative before WW2 with the development and design that produced the destroyers the Royal Navy took to war in 1939. Like all the following chapters this is profusely illustrated with clear photos printed at a decent size and some of Mr Baker's plans. Sadly the plans are not scaled but they are mostly quite large and are all very clear. If you know the recorded length of a certain vessel you can work out the scale from that and resize it with a scanner or photocopier if necessary.

The book moves on to 'Defending Trade', 'The War Emergency Destroyers' and 'new classes', 'Ocean Escorts' and a variety of other chapters covering all aspects of the vessels built for and during WW2 before turning to the postwar vessels of the period immediate after 1945.

The big change of course was the advent of the Missile Destroyer and this is discussed in detail in chapter 9. In this chapter we follow destroyer development up to the county class.

Chapter 11 begins the discussion of Frigates and the subsequent chapters follow their development to the Type 45.

The roles of the Destroyer and Frigate have changed dramatically over the last 80 years and this book does an admirable job of charting the changing technology and design that follows these changing demands over time.

For those less versed in Royal Navy history, there are a number of helpful sections in this book including the glossary at the start. The text is clear and easy to follow and Mr Fried,an explains his subject in a lively and interesting way.

Ship Modeller, Chris Meddings

This is a major study of British destroyers and smaller warships, first published in 2006, that remains unsurpassed. – This is impeccably researched book is very capably illustrated with photographs and drawings. It is offered at an incredibly aggressive price and is within reach of even the younger readers, but will remain a primary reference source for the topics covered – Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.


At the back of the book are yet more data tables, plus a list of all the various ship classes and the individual pennant numbers of each vessel within each class. It is an amazingly long list. I think it will be fascinating for many Royal Navy veterans interested in the ships they knew or served in as well as anyone with an interest in modern naval history. With so much information is will be a boon for the ship modeller as well. A great reference on an important class of Royal Navy warships from their use in WW2 and the changing developments over time since then. Well worth keeping on your bookshelf.

Read the complete review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The volume is well-written, researched and eminently readable. It is likely to appeal a variety of readers and may well become a standard reference work on its subject. The potential readership could include both naval personnel, and those with a general interest in the Royal Navy.. Those with a more general interest in naval and maritime matters are also likely to find this volume of interest. The many photographs and drawings are likely to be invaluable to both ship modellers and to marine artists with an interest in British naval vessels.

NZ Crown Mines
 Norman Friedman

About Norman Friedman

Norman Friedman is a strategist known for his ability to meld historical, technical, and strategic factors in analyses of current problems. He has frequently appeared on television, and he has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on naval topics. His forty books include, for Seaforth, two-volume histories of British cruisers and destroyers, a history of naval gunnery in the battleship era (Naval Firepower), a history of naval anti-aircraft gunnery during the two World Wars (Naval Anti-Aircraft Guns and Gunnery), World War I Naval Weapons, and, most recently, Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology. A history of British battleships is currently in preparation. All of these books are based largely on primary documents created by the Royal Navy and related organizations. As a result, they tend to shed new and sometimes surprising light on what might seem to be well-understood events and developments. All of them reflect Dr. Friedman’s interest in the way in which national strategy and policy and technology intersect. Dr. Friedman has also contributed articles on current naval technology to the annual Seaforth Naval Review. He wrote a series of design histories of U.S. warships, ranging from aircraft carriers to small combatants, based on U.S. Navy internal papers, five editions of a guide to world naval weapon systems, and accounts of trade-offs in warship (including submarine) design and naval radar technology. Other topics range from the role of space systems in naval warfare, the character of modern naval command and control (network-centric warfare), recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to histories of the Cold War, to naval strategy and to naval technology, including the possible role of unmanned (but armed) aircraft in carrier operations.

Dr. Friedman’s Cold War history, The Fifty Year War: Conflict and Strategy in the Cold War, won the 2001 Westminster Prize as the best military history book of the previous year, from the British Royal United Services Institute. To date he is the only American to have been so honored. His Seapower as Strategy won the Samuel Eliot Morrison prize awarded by the Naval Order of the United States in November 2001.

After receiving a Ph.D. as a theoretical physicist at Columbia University, Dr. Friedman spent eleven years at a New York think tank, the Hudson Institute, headed by Herman Kahn, who was famous both as a futurologist and as a strategist. Much of his work there involved writing scenarios for possible future conflicts -- many in places which are still of great interest, such as Korea. Scenario-writing demands the ability to focus on the essentials of a situation, and on the forces likely to drive it. Dr. Friedman left Hudson as Deputy Director for National Security Studies. He then spent a decade as in-house consultant to the Secretary of the Navy. Among his projects for that office was a series of studies of likely future developments in various areas, beginning with the fundamentalist Muslim uprising then enveloping Algeria, and including likely developments around the Indian Ocean. Other projects included a contribution to the formulation of post Cold War U.S. naval strategy and participation in a study of the future of U.S. surface warships. Dr. Friedman served as futurologist for the U.S. Marine Corps headquarters in 2002-2004. In 2013 he wrote a history of the MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected) vehicle program as a study in successful rapid (unconventional) procurement, under contract to the MRAP Joint Program Office. He has also written an official history of U.S. Navy air defense missile systems (including anti-ballistic missile systems).

Topics Dr. Friedman has studied under contract to government agencies and to major government contractors have included the nature of future naval warfare, the defense transformation effort (as reflected in attempts to develop network-centric types of warfare), naval command and control as a model for network-centric warfare, the development of U.S. and British aircraft carriers (for the Naval Sea Systems Command and for the Office of Net Assessment, respectively, the latter as a study in defense transformation and the adoption of foreign innovations), missile defense, the future shape of the U.S.Marine Corps, the contribution of the U.S. Coast Guard to homeland defense, the future of the U.S. aerospace industry, the potential development of precision weapons, the U.S. industrial capacity for industrial mobilization, U.S. strategic targeting strategy and competitive policies, scenarios for conflict in Europe and Asia, the cost of current and future naval aircraft, nuclear proliferation (incentives and deterrents), prospects for torpedo countermeasures, the possible future shape of mine countermeasures, and the tactics of long-range anti-ship missiles, The naval missile study, conducted at the Naval War College, contributed towards the U.S. Navy’s technique for targeting anti-ship Tomahawk and was an early example of network-centric warfare. The paper which resulted from this study was said to have been very influential in the navy’s adoption of what amounted to network-centric concepts.

Dr Friedman served on the 1989 U.S. Navy study of future surface combatant characteristics and later on a navy panel reviewing U.S. Navy R&D on ship hull and machinery topics. He gave the keynote address to a classified ONR meeting on the future of surface combatants, looking out 25 to 50 years and taking Moore’s Law into account in evaluating the likely prospects of stealthy ships. During 2010 Dr. Friedman contributed to a National Academy of Sciences study of the future of shipbuilding in the United States.

Dr Friedman has lectured widely in forums such as the U.S. Naval War College, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Air War College, the Australian , British, and Canadian junior and senior national staff colleges, the Royal United Services Institute, the British Ministry of Defence, and at a series of seminars for the Naval Air Systems Command managed by the University of Virginia. In the fall of 2002 Dr. Friedman served as the Royal Australian Navy’s Synott Professor, lecturing on seapower in several Australian cities. He was keynote speaker at Royal Australian Navy historical conferences, in 2009 on the theme of Commonwealth naval cooperation and in 2013 on World War I as a maritime war. In 2014 he was a keynote speaker at the Royal Navy Museum conference on the Anglo-German Naval Arms Race leading up to World War I.

For some years Dr.Friedman was Visiting Professor of Operations Research at University College, London, concerned mainly with the formulation and consequences of ship operational requirements. For about thirty years Dr. Friedman has presented numerous commercial lectures (for defense and and naval professionals) on various defense topics. A hallmark of these lectures is their firm grounding in current international political and social trends, rather than simply in technology or in military considerations.

Dr. Friedman writes a monthly column on world and naval affairs for the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute. His writing has appeared widely in periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Naval Forces, Military Technology, Jane’s Navy International, Jane’s International Defence Review, Joint Forces Quarterly, Asia Pacific Defence Reporter, and Naval History.

More titles by Norman Friedman

Customers who bought this title also bought...

Other titles in Seaforth Publishing...