Book Review: British Warship Losses in the Ironclad Era, 1860-1919


by David Hepper

London: Chatham Publishing/Minneapolis: MBI Publishing, 2006 . Pp. vii, 168 . Illus., notes, biblio., index. $49.95. ISBN: 1861762739

The long-awaited sequel to naval historian Hepper's 1994 work British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859 , British Warship Losses in the Ironclad Era is a very valuable guide to British warships lost, from whatever cause, between the introduction of the ironclad warship through the immediate aftermath of World War I.

Naturally, the largest number of losses were the result of combat during the Great War, for between 1860 and 1914, although the Royal Navy lost scores of ships, only one was due to hostile action, the rest resulting from the hazards of the sea or accidents. The listing is exhaustive, and includes everything from drifters and trawlers to battleships. Each of the entries, which vary from a few words to several hundred, opens with a thumbnail description of the ship and the name of her commanding officer, followed by an account of her loss, and provides a short reference for further information. 

An indispensable work for anyone doing naval history in the period.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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