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British Naval Trawlers and Drifters in Two World Wars (Hardback)

From The John Lambert Collection

WWII WWI Seaforth

Edited by Steve R. Dunn
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 100 line drawings & 50 b/w photos
ISBN: 9781526794864
Published: 2nd December 2021


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John Lambert was a renowned naval draughtsman, whose plans were highly valued for their accuracy and detail by modelmakers and enthusiasts. By the time of his death in 2016 he had produced over 850 sheets of drawings, many of which have never been published. These were acquired by Seaforth and this title is the fourth of a planned series of albums on selected themes, reproducing complete sheets at a large page size, with expert commentary and captioning.

Trawlers and drifters served in both world wars in their thousands; and, in their tens of thousands, so did their fishermen crews. Indeed, these humble craft were the most numerous vessel type used by the Royal Navy in both wars, and were the answer to the strategic or tactical conundrums posed by new technology of mines and submarines. In his accompanying text, Steve Dunn examines the ships themselves, their design, construction, arming, operations and development; and he also relates how the trawlermen and skippers, from the age-old fishing ports of Grimsby, Hull, Lowestoft ad Great Yarmouth, Aberdeen and Fleetwood, came to be part of the Royal Navy, and describes the roles they played, the conditions they served under and the bravery they showed.

The book takes some 30 large sheets of drawings which John Lambert completed of these vessels and divides into two sections. The first part tells how the fishing fleet came to be an integral part of the Royal Navy’s pre-1914 plans and details some of the activities and actions of trawlers and drifters at war in 1914-18. And the second investigates the armed fishing fleet in the struggle of 1939-45.

These wonderfully detailed drawings, which are backed by a selection of photographs and a detailed complementary text, offer a superb technical archive for enthusiasts and ship modellers, but the book also tells a fascinating story of the extraordinary contribution the vessels and their crews made to the defeat of Germany in two world wars.

If like me you know little or nothing of the work of these small ships in both World Wars, I heartily recommend reading this one. There are also a lot of archive photos which illustrate the first two parts of the book. The plans are a marvellous resource for those interested in small ships and especially for modellers who will enjoy this as a detailed reference to work with. I think Seaforth have done a great job in sharing the John Lambert collection with these books, and author Steve R Dunn has done well in giving us a context to broaden our understanding of them all.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene

‘it’s a wonderful book…..a really cool book’.

Watch the review here

Dr Alexander Clarke in his YouTube broadcast, December 2021

As my family were driftermen, this book was a must-read.
The photos and war history was a very good read indeed.
Recommend it.
Ron Taylor (FEPOW Family)

Ronnie Taylor

About Steve R. Dunn

Steve Dunn is an author with a special interest in the Royal Navy of the late nineteenth century and the First World War. He has written biographies and narrative histories including BlockadeSecuring the Narrow SeaBayly's WarSouthern ThunderThe Battle of the Baltic and, most recently, The Power and the Glory, all published by Seaforth. Steve lives in Worcestershire and southwest France.

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