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Royal Naval Submarines 1901 to 2008 (Paperback)

Maritime > Naval > Royal Navy Maritime > Submarines P&S History > By Century > 20th Century

By Maurice Cocker
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 136
Illustrations: 200 black and white
ISBN: 9781526791900
Published: 11th November 2020
Last Released: 4th June 2021



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This is a must-buy for the Royal Navy and Submarine enthusiast, being a complete directory of RN submarines from the outset to the present day. There is a wealth of detail on each class. Every entry contains the specification, launch dates of individual boats, details of evolving construction and armament and other salient information in a compact form.

The high quality of the drawings of the majority of classes adds to the value of this work which includes the very latest Astute submarines currently coming into service.

This book is a complete directory of submarines and will be widely welcomed by all with an interest, professional or lay, in the subject.

This second edition of a book first published in 1982 is a basic reference book on the subject of Royal Navy (RN) submarines from the inception of the technology to the present. It is high level in that it covers the essentials of the designs over the past century, without getting into every detail associated with modifications or refinements within basic classes.

Cocker presents (generally) a two-page summary of each class of boats operated by the RN, starting with the Holland design of 1901.

Accounts for each class generally include a line diagram of the design, a table of specifications and performance metrics, and a number of notes that vary in detail based on need. Photographs and a list of the losses of each class rounds out the information provided.

Notwithstanding some of the reservations noted, the book is a helpful guide to the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet over the past 120 years and will provide a quick reference for anyone needing to know the particulars of a given class. It is also a sobering reminder of the number of losses of RN submarines in both wars, as well as a steady series of peacetime losses due to misadventure. The courage and fortitude of submariners is a byword throughout the naval profession (a point which we have been reminded of with the tragic loss of the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala 402 on 21 April 2021), but the very first were extraordinarily brave to put to sea in the contraptions of the day as is well attested in Cocker’s useful, if short, reference book.

The Northern Mariner, Winter 2021
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