British Naval Trawlers and Drifters in Two World Wars
...from the John Lambert Collection, and Seaforth Publishing
Title: British Naval Trawlers and Drifters in Two World Wars
Author: Steve R Dunn
'From the John Lambert Collection', the latest large format book from Seaforth with more of the fantastic drawings from the the late John Lambert. This shares another element of the large collection of drawings which were acquired by Seaforth Publishing, with added context thanks to author Steve R Dunn, who has added the context to accompany them in this 208-page hardback book, along with a good selection of archive images as well.
As the author points out at the start, the most numerous of Royal Naval vessels in World War I and II were not destroyers, cruisers or battleships but fishing boats. Trawlers and Drifters filled numerous vital roles, which we read about in this book. The text is divided into 2 main parts, for each for WWI and WW2, and with each of these subdivided into 8 chapters. These are followed by the third and valuable part of the whole book, over 50 pages of superbly detailed plans, of different types of trawlers and drifters as well as the assorted weaponry they were fitted with. In WW1 they were fitted with hydrophones for detecting submarines and paravanes for minesweeping. In WW2 they had ASDIC and Radar as well. The story of these vessels, and their crews make for fascinating reading. While fishing remained a vital role in feeding Britain, these small ships taken into RN service was vital, and they proved very successful. The crews were experienced seamen, which helped as they had limited training, but did need to learn to use the weapons and detection gear. As for the plans, they are simply first class. They include vessels or armament and have plenty of detailed notes also on the page(s). Thankfully they have also been carefully arranged so detail is not lost in the binding on those plans which extend across 2 pages.
If like me you know little or nothing of the work of these small ships in both World Wars, I heartily recommend reading this one. There are also a lot of archive photos which illustrate the first two parts of the book. The plans are a marvellous resource for those interested in small ships and especially for modellers who will enjoy this as a detailed reference to work with. I think Seaforth have done a great job in sharing the John Lambert collection with these books, and author Steve R Dunn has done well in giving us a context to broaden our understanding of them all.
Thanks to Seaforth Publishing, part of Pen & Sword, for our review copy.