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Naval Weapons of World War One (Kindle)

WWI Seaforth: Iron & Steel Seaforth 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918

By Norman Friedman
Seaforth Publishing
File Size: 204.2 MB (.mobi)
ISBN: 9781473807006
eBook Released: 12th December 2011


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Although the Great War might be regarded as the heyday of the big-gun at sea, it also saw the maturing of underwater weapons – the mine and torpedo – as well as the first signs of the future potency of air power. Between 1914 and 1918 weapons development was both rapid and complex, so this book has two functions: on the one hand it details all the guns, torpedoes, mines, aerial bombs and anti-submarine systems employed during that period; but it also seeks to explain the background to their evolution – how the weapons were perceived at the time and how they were actually used. This involves a discussion of tactics and emphasises the key 'enabling' technology of fire control and gun mountings. In this respect the book treats the war as a transition from naval weapons which were essentially experimental at its outbreak to a state where they pointed directly to what would be used in World War Two.

Based largely on original research, this sophisticated book is more than a catalogue of the weapons, offering insight into some of the most important technical and operational factors influencing the war at sea. In this respect it is more broadly significant than its title might suggest.

A spectacular work both for the visual content and for the analysed paper.

Read the complete Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM

This beautiful, technical book details all the equipment mentioned in the title.

VaeVictis, January - February 2017

For a large format book with a large number of first rate images in illustration, this book is priced very competitively. It has to be the master work on the subject, well-written and packed with information on weapons from a period when revolutionary new weapons were entering service to deal with revolutionary threats. Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.


No-one interested in British naval gunnery can afford to miss this...This book is a most useful, indeed a vitally important contribution to the naval literature of the First World War. There is key material in it that is not available elsewhere and it rewards careful reading...A worthy successor to Campbell's magnum opus.

Mariner's Mirror

Friedman’s book breaks this mould [researchers focussing on the period leading up to the outbreak of war] wide open.’
‘Comprehensive coverage’

Norman Friedman

Friedman’s book breaks this mould [researchers focussing on the period leading up to the outbreak of war] wide open.
Comprehensive coverage.

Unknown, Winter 2013

When I first opened it, I had intended to read just sufficient to enable me to write a fair and detailed review; I ended up reading most of the book. For a work purporting to be an ‘encyclopaedia’ of weapons systems, this is a praise indeed.

Warship 2013

This is a ‘must have’ book for the WW1/ WWII naval scholar, the model ship builder, and those who are interested in naval artillery weaponry. The book is filled with photos and mechanical drawings which show a cross section of the huge guns and gun turrets on battleships and destroyers.

The Lone Star Book Review

The 408 page book is divided into four sections – guns, torpedoes, mines, and ASW weapons – with each section covering those weapons on a country – by – country basis. It describes how the weapons evolved and how they were used, includes a wealth of technical detail, drawings, and photographs, and gives an insight into what influenced the war at sea.

Ships Monthly, January 2013

This is a superb piece of work, and an invaluable addition to the library of anyone interested in naval warfare during the First World War.

History of War

An absolute must for anyone with a serious interest in naval warfare.
A first class work. 10/10

Great War Magazine

An absolute must for anyone with a serious interest in naval warfare, undertaking research or with just a passing curiosity in the subject. Well produced and illustrated with photographs, illustrations and plans it not only offers a comprehensive and readable catalogue of military weapons, but also offers insight into some of the most important technical and operational factors influencing in the war at sea.

Great War Books

Based largely on original research, this publication is much more than a catalogue of the naval weapons of the First World War. Indeed, the author offers an insight into the guns, torpedoes, mines, aerial bombs and anti-submarine systems employed during that period. Friedman also seeks to explain the background to their evolution and future development. Without doubt this is a remarkably details publication that will be of immense value to anyone with an interest in the naval war between 1914 and 1918.

Britain at War, April 2012

Norman Friedman gives us an incredibly comprehensive view of the weapons used by the Great War navies of…ready for this? Britain, Germany, France, the United States, Italy, Russia, Japan, Austria, Spain, Sweden, and other navies. Here, naval weapons include guns, torpedoes, mines and anti-submarine weapons. There must have been a risk that main guns would overshadow mines and torpedoes.

Daly History Blog

When reviewing books by Norman Friedman it is becoming increasingly difficult t find the right superlatives which do full justice in his masterly works and this latest superb book is no exception,
Friedman does cover all weapons, the biggest section being devoted to British guns, which takes up a third of the book, over three hundred pages on guns, forty-five pages on torpedoes and forty pages on mines and ASW weapons.
He also covers the development of ammunition pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the different ammunition used by different countries.
Friedman adds an excellent introduction to each section covering basic principles, tactics, development and construction, which puts the weapons in perspective.
His clear concise summaries provide excellent analysis of the naval history of the period.

Scuttlebutt, Spring 2012
 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.

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