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British Naval Weapons of World War Two (Hardback)

The John Lambert Collection, Volume II: Escort and Minesweeper Weapons

WWII Seaforth Naval Photographic Books Weaponry

Edited by Norman Friedman
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781526750471
Published: 1st July 2019


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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 have now been acquired by Seaforth and this is the second of a planned series of albums on selected themes, reproducing complete sheets at a large page size, with an expert commentary and captioning.

The initial volumes concentrate on British naval weaponry used in the Second World War, thus completing the project John Lambert was working on when he died. His interest was always focused on smaller warships and his weapons drawings tend to be of open mountings – the kind that present a real challenge to modelmakers – rather than enclosed turret guns, but he also produced drawings of torpedo tubes, underwater weapons, fire-control directors and even some specific armament-related deck fittings. Following the first volume on destroyer armament, this one covers all such weapons carried by the various types of British escorts and minesweepers of this era, including the ‘passive’ elements like sweeping gear, decoys and electronics.

The drawings are backed by introductory essays by Norman Friedman, an acknowledged authority on naval ordnance, while a selection of photographs add to the value of the book as visual reference. Over time, the series will be expanded to make this unique technical archive available in published form, a move certain to be welcomed by warship modellers, enthusiasts and the many fans of John Lambert’s work.

"The book is most welcome, and again is essential for serious model makers. Strongly recommended."

John Roberts, 2019

Undoubtedly, the joy of these volumes is the extraordinary array of clearly presented technical drawings, the result of John Lambert’s lifetime of diligent research, skilled draughtsmanship and his abiding interest in small warships. These drawings are complemented by thoughtful and informed introductions by Norman Friedman which are, in themselves, a succinct insight into the pressures and strategic issues which resulted in the wide array of weaponry illustrated and described. Whilst these two handsome volumes (10 inches by 11½ inches) would fascinate any naval enthusiast with an interest in the World War Two era, they would be almost essential browsing for model makers and, taken together, are both a fitting testimony to John Lambert’s research and also a valuable contribution to the knowledge of the weaponry of that era.

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The Naval Review, print & online

This book will be of great value to anyone trying to model these ships, providing an impressive level of detail for the many weapons used during the war. I’m also finding it rather useful in my efforts to identify particular aspects of pictures of these ships.

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History of War

This is one of those books where the the most effective review is “WOW!!!”. The late John Lambert was a prolific technical illustrator who was highly regarded for the quality of his work and knowledge of naval vessels and weapons. The publishers have secured his extensive library of plans, many never before published, and are now releasing a series of books based on the images. This will be warmly welcomed by warship modellers and naval historians, but should be widely read and enjoyed by everyone with any interest in warships and their weapons – Most Highly Recommended

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As featured on The View From The Turret

The View From The Turret Vlog

The presentation by Seaforth is superb; my rating reflects the fact that the detail is so fine grain as to make the book a bit niche, an unavoidable result of editing down from the original much larger page sizes; but that doesn't fairly reflect the service Seaforth have done in publishing this material for future users.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

This large scale book shows how technical drawings were achieved before the era of computers and computer-aided design. Packed with intricate and highly detailed technical drawings of British Naval weapons that were designed and used in WWII, this is a worthy memorial to a man whose technical abilities were at the forefront of the war at sea. A hugely impressive volume.

Books Monthly

A truly fascinating and ground-breaking work.

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Julian Stockwin Blog

Modeller or just with a fascination with Royal Navy warships and weaponry from the WW2 period, then I am confident you will enjoy adding this second volume to your own reference shelf. I am so glad that Seaforth have been able to bring these marvellous plans to a wide audience by these new publications. Excellent.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

It goes without saying that this book is unreservedly recommended, and will remain the seminal reference on the subject for as far in to the future as any of us can see!

Neil Robinson, IPMS, 2019

This splendid large format quality book provides a tribute to the late Hugh John Lambert and his extraordinary comprehensive range of master plans of naval ordnance; he produced over 850 sheets of drawings, many of which have never been published. Seaforth intend to put that right and this first volume focuses on British destroyer weapons of World War II. Lambert died three years ago and the book includes a full obituary. Norman Friedman, one of the foremost authorities on twentieth century naval weaponry, has written a very good fifty-three page scene setter by way of an introduction. It provides a first class overview of British destroyer development and their weapons, mostly their guns, from the period before World War I up to 1945, illustrated by over fifty photographs. This is followed by 176 pages of weapon, mostly guns but also systems plans, beginning with ten pages of basic destroyer plans (‘S’ series) of HM Ships: Whitehall (1924), Harvester (1940), Matabele (1939), Napier (1940), Quilliam (1939) and Caesar (1944). The hundred sheets of original drawings have had to be reduced significantly to fit into and across the double page presentations, which inevitably reduces their readability and the expert may require magnifying glasses for full study. Nevertheless this section is the core of this book and the drawings are very fine. They start with the ‘G’ series main armament, 4-inch to 4.7-inch, followed by secondary armament, mostly 40mm Bofors, then Fire Control ‘F’ series, completing with torpedoes (‘T’ series) and other weapons, mines and depth charges (‘M’ series).
This book is handsomely produced to Seaforth’s high standards and is naturally very well illustrated. Whilst being a rather narrow subject it is a must for serious naval model makers, naval ordnance professionals, researcher and enthusiasts.

John Roberts, Friends of the Royal Navy Museum, 2019
 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.

Perfect Partner

British Naval Weapons of World War Two The John Lambert Collection, Volume I: Destroyer Weapons (Hardback)

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 have now been acquired by Seaforth and this is the first of a planned series of albums on selected themes, reproducing complete sheets at a large page size, with an expert commentary and captioning. The initial volumes will concentrate on British naval weaponry used in the Second World War, thus completing the project John Lambert was…

By Norman Friedman

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