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British Warship Recognition: The Perkins Identification Albums, Vol V (Hardback)

Volume V: Destroyers, Torpedo Boats and Coastal Forces, 1876-1939

Seaforth Royal Navy Naval

By Richard Perkins
Seaforth Publishing
Series: Perkins Indentification Albums
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9781526711120
Published: 17th October 2017

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The Richard Perkins warship identification albums form one of the most detailed studies ever undertaken of the changes to the appearance of Royal Navy ships. However, it is a unique hand-drawn manuscript artefact in the care of the National Maritime Museum, so despite its value it is rarely seen by anyone besides the museum’s curators, for whom it is a precious resource, used on an almost daily basis.

In collaboration with the Museum, Seaforth is undertaking the first publication of this monumental work in a superbly produced multi-volume edition that captures all the qualities of the original. Every page is reproduced at full size, making the extensive hand-written annotation readable, while the fine-line drawings retain all the colours that Perkins used to denote appearance differences and alterations.

The fifth volume of the series is largely devoted to surface craft whose primary weapon was the torpedo: destroyers and their flotilla leaders, 1st- and 2nd-class torpedo boats, Coastal Motor Boats and MTBs, although it also includes the Great War-era P-boats and the Motor Anti-Submarine Boats of the late 1930s.

This is a publishing event of the utmost importance for every enthusiast and ship modeller, who for the first time will be able to own a copy of a unique and invaluable reference work.

As featured in

Model Boats, January 2018

The pages are high quality reproductions of the original pages of the Perkins albums and the information continues to be amazing and in my view, the artistic quality of the illustrations as well as the pages of detailed hand-written notes are a joy to see in their own right as a piece of artistry, let alone the dedication he shows by recording the subject to this level of detail, at a time when the Royal Navy really was the greatest fleet in the world.

Even the neatly written text notes show changes as the author added or updated notes over time. One or two have been added by archivists over the years, but remarkably few. What you have is very much a 'bible' of help to identify not only individual ships in archive photos, but also to indicate what year it shows the vessel. Individually the book is a delight to see by itself and as the growing set a magnificent reference.

Read the complete review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

With its wealth of data and the high quality printing of literally hundreds of warship drawings, this book deserves positive, even enthusiastic comments...

The publisher describes Perkins’ work as ‘monumental’ and given the scale and importance of the resulting volumes, especially this one, I consider that adjective to be fully justified. This latest volume adds considerably to our knowledge of both the subject and the era; I have no hesitation in recommending it.

Read the complete review here.

Australian Naval Institute, David Hobbs

About Richard Perkins

RICHARD PERKINS originally produced what he called his ‘Historical Identification Book’ to help identify and date photos in his monumental collection, but its wider significance is highlighted in this edition by an Introduction by ANDREW CHOONG, a curator at the National Maritime Museum for whom the albums are an indispensible reference

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