French Cruisers 1922-1956 (Hardback)
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The French produced some of the most striking and innovatory interwar cruiser designs. A large amount of new information about these ships has become available over the past twenty years in France, but this book is the first to make this accessible to an English-speaking readership.
Part I explains the design philosophy behind each of the classes built after 1922, and outlines the characteristics of each type, accompanied by detailed data tables and a comprehensive set of specially-drawn plans based on official documents, as well as carefully-selected photographs. Coverage includes the De Grasse, laid down in August 1939 and completed postwar as an AA cruiser, and also the heavy cruisers of the Saint Louis class intended to follow her, about which little has been published.
Part II deals with the historical side, covering not only the eventful careers of these ships, but also explaining the peacetime organisation of the Marine Nationale, the complex politics of this turbulent period and their impact on the navy.
Like its highly successful predecessor, French Battleships, this beautifully presented book subtly blends technical and historical analysis to produce what must become the standard reference work.
As featured inSTORIA militare, November 2015
Anyone who has 'French Battleships' certainly will want this volume, and it will fill gaps in many references libraries.Nautical Research Journal
For the modeller, 'French Cruisers' is a bonanza of information.Ships in Scale
The primary appeal will be the well detailed "as-built" drawings (mostly profile with some plan views) in Part I of each cruiser with numerous detailed photos.
All in all, 'French Cruisers' is highly recommended to the ship modeller not only for the details, but also for the history of the Marine Nationale's efforts to meet overbearing treaty requirements and still managed to produce viable warships of great beauty.
The technical section written primarily by Jordan is a comprehensive, consistent, and thorough analytical catalogue of the ships...he also provides the magnificent drawings...This would fill the next major gap in what is turning into a comprehensive history of the French navy in the twentieth century.Mariner's Mirror
This is a valuable work for anyone interested in twentieth century navies, and the operational section is very useful in covering activities not usually found in English language accounts of the Second World War at sea.New York Military Affairs Symposium
A clearly-written and excellently presented book which, particularly with respect to its technical descriptions, explains its chosen subject area in a convincing and comprehensive fashion. The authors are to be commended for their achievement in bringing knowledge of a previously sparsely-covered subject to an English language readership.Warship Annual 2014
This first-rate work, produced by two expert co-authors, contains a wealth of information about the design philosophy, construction technical characteristics and operational history of some of the most interesting cruiser designs of the inter-war period. It will soon be recognized as the standard work on the subject and is highly recommended.Marine News
Probably the most comprehensive book in English describing these fascinating ships. Comprehensive and highly recommended.The Cruiser
French Cruisers 1922-1956 by John Jordan & Jean Moulin.Andrew Hill
Published by Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848321335
For those of us whose grasp of French ended with our high school education, accessibility to quality English language source material on the French Navy and it vessels has been somewhat limited. However Iâ€™m happy to report that things have been improving and changing over the past few yrs, and in no small way due too the fantastic work undertaken by John Jordan & Seaforth Publishing. If your familiar with Jordans earlier work with Robert Dumas French Battleships 1922-1956 by the same publisher, you know your getting another tour de force piece of publishing, though this time with Jean Moulin as Jordanâ€™s co-author.
The book is handily split into two distinct parts which could easily stand as separate publications in there own right, such is the quality therein. Part 1 (which has 8 chapters and just shy of 140pages) is the Technical section where the various design philosophies and class characteristics are explained, interrogated and presented. These various technical facets are described & supported by countless line drawings and numerous B/W photographs. The narrative detail is truly overwhelming, as seemingly not even the most mundane piece of machinery or component isnâ€™t worthy of few lines or the odd drawing to illustrate it. Part 2 (which has some 4 chapters of around 64 pages) deals with the cruisers historical footprint (or should that be bow wave!) which shows us there proposed function, tactics, organisation, infrastructure and most importantly there actual combat duties. There are fewer line drawings in this part but this is offset by more maps and other visual aids to help give context to the associated narrative.
Sandwiched between these two parts are some truly emotive colour plates of the various cruisers by the French naval veteran and artist Surgeon General Jean Blade. His 16 watercolours add to the overall quality of this publication.
French Cruisers 1922-1956 is a must have for any serious naval historian of this period and also provides a fantastic reference book for those in the modelling fraternity.
This book will remain at the pinnacle of our understanding & knowledge of the subject matter in English for decades to come.