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British Naval Weapons of World War Two (ePub)

The John Lambert Collection, Volume I: Destroyer Weapons

Maritime > Naval Maritime > Seaforth Publishing Military > Weaponry WWII > Naval Warfare WWII

Edited by Norman Friedman
Seaforth Publishing
File Size: 39.5 MB (.epub)
Illustrations: 180
ISBN: 9781526747686
Published: 4th March 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 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 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. This volume covers all such weapons carried by British destroyers of this era, with additional appendices devoted to earlier guns still in service, and destroyer-calibre weapons only mounted in larger ships.

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.

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 intended 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, most 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, 2020

The drawings are backed by an excellent introductory essay by Norman Friedman while the selection of photographs add to the value of the book as visual reference. There is an enormous degree of detail in this book and its companion volume [referring to volume II] for me, well worth the cover price.

Marine News (World Ship Society), November 2019

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ModellWerft, 02/2020

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Ships Monthly, January 2020

This exceptional volume revives the glories of the "Anatomy of the Ship" series of the Conway Publishing house and, thanks to the current scanning and printing techniques, in many cases exceeds the already exceptional quality of that unforgettable work.

STORIA militare, December 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

Masterpiece of naval cartoonist John Lambert.

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Miniaturas JM

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Airfix Model World, June 2019

Those enthusiasts who are skilled in scale drawings for aircraft, AFVs and ships are all so valuable to our hobbies. I know of others who have passed away and this drawing collection are left with an uncertain future, or left to museums where they can be left in their libraries and only found by the lucky few. So I can only applaud that Seaforth have not just acquired them, but are publishing the collection to be shared and enjoyed with the many. Simply first class and I can't wait to see what comes with volume 2.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The drawings cover all significant guns from 4.7” downwards, as well as torpedo tubes, directors, anti-submarine weapons and some ancillary equipment, such as the two speed destroyer sweep. These are fully annotated. The publisher has used a large page format so none of the drawings are cropped, or placed across the binding, making it a joy to look though, and marvel at the level of detail John achieved. As well as views from all angles of the weapons and their systems, there are several plans of destroyers of different classes that illustrate the typical armament layouts. This book deserves to do well, being of interest to modellers, historians and warship enthusiasts alike. John is no longer with us, but his drawings live on.

Nigel Denchfield, Battleship

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Airfix Model World, June 2019

It's good, & bodes very well for others in the series.
Modellers ought to love it, for concentration of detail in one place, Naval history types can add it to their growning shelves (My old man liked it, & he's a ship nut), and it retains value for the more general Military History/Weapons/Technology types. It's also got that fondle factor that Seaforth seem to be achieving in their recent output - quality paper, solid binding & crisp printing.

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WW2 Talk

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!

IPMS Magazine March-April 2019

This is a book to acquire at all costs.

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This is an astonishing title with a wealth of unique reference material all in one place – with more to follow in the series!

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Scale Modelling Now

... to be welcomed by warship modellers, enthusiasts and the many fans of John Lambert's work.

Model Boats, May 2019 – reviewed by John Deamer

The amount of detail in these plans and the quality of their drafting is a joy to behold. John Lambert was one of the finest naval draftsmen in recent memory, and the presence of his drawings automatically enhanced the value of any book.

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Amazon Customer

The presentation by Seaforth is superb.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

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The Bookseller Buyers Guide
 Norman Friedman

About Norman Friedman

NORMAN FRIEDMAN is arguably America’s most prominent naval analyst, and the author of more than thirty books covering a range of naval subjects, from warship histories to contemporary defence issues. His most recent titles in a series of successful works for Seaforth are the two volumes of his history of British Submarines.

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