BACKGROUND AND HISTORYThe Society’s 23 naval publications have deservedly earned their reputation for being well-researched and illustrated profusely. As such they are an excellent showcase for the Society’s naval activities.
NAVY ON REVIEW 77, the Society’s first foray into the sphere of naval publications, was an A5-size pictorial record of the Silver Jubilee Review at Spithead on 28th June 1977. The second book, a much more ambitious hardback, was Ian Buxton’s excellent BIG GUN MONITORS, published in 1978, which set the standard for warship design histories. THE HUNTS: A history of the design, development and careers of the 86 destroyers of this class built for the Royal and Allied Navies during World War II, first of John English’s quartet of books about British destroyers of the Second World War, was published in 1987. The remaining books in the series, AMAZON TO IVANHOE: British Standard destroyers of the 1930s, AFRIDI TO NIZAM: British Fleet Destroyers 1937- 1943 and OBDURATE TO DARING: British Fleet Destroyers 1941 – 1945 were published in 1993, 2001 and 2009 respectively.
Arnold Hague, who joined the Society soon after its foundation, had spent many years researching into Allied convoys of World War 2 and his work bore fruit with the publication of THE TOWNS: A History of the fifty destroyers transferred from the United States to Great Britain in 1940 (1988), CONVOYS TO RUSSIA 1941 – 1945 (with Bob Ruegg, 1992), SLOOPS 1926 – 1946 (1993) and CONVOY RESCUE SHIPS 1940 – 1945 (1998). Other naval titles published in the same period were LEANDER CLASS FRIGATES: A history of their design & development 1958-90 by Richard Osborne & David Sowdon (1990) and Peter Brook’s WARSHIPS FOR EXPORT: Armstrong Warships1867 – 1927 (1999).
In 2002 the Naval Committee decided to adopt an A4 format for future naval books the first of which was George Moore’s meticulously-researched BUILDING FOR VICTORY: The Warship Building Programmes of the Royal Navy 1939 – 1945 published in 2003. His subsequent book ADMIRALTY JOB NUMBERS 1939 – 1945 (2004) has also become an important work of reference. ADMIRALTY COASTAL SALVAGE VESSELS by David Sowdon (2005) and ARMED MERCHANT CRUISERS 1879 – 1945 by Richard Osborne, Harry Spong & Tom Grover, published in 2007, are recognised as being the definitive published accounts on these topics.
The Society’s 23rd Naval publication entitled GRAND FLEET DESTROYERS, PART 1: FLOTILLA LEADERS AND ‘V/W’ CLASS DESTROYERS is scheduled for release in late 2018.
Future titles include two further volumes on British destroyers of the First World War and a history of British minelayers from the mid-19th Century to 1960.
List of World Ship Society’s Naval Publications* denotes out of print, ** denotes few remaining
|NAVY ON REVIEW 77 by R.J. Coleman (1977) **|
|BIG GUN MONITORS: A History of the Design, construction and operation of the Royal Navy’s monitors by Dr I.L. Buxton (in association with Trident books, 1978) * (NB A revised edition was published by Seaforth Publishing in 2008)|
|IRISH NAVAL SERVICE by Thomas A. Adams (1982)*|
|CONVERSION FOR WAR edited by Dr R.H. Osborne (1983) *|
|THE TYPE 35 TORPEDOBOATS OF THE KRIEGSMARINE by M.J. Whitley (1986) **|
|SHIPS OF THE ROYAL NAVY: A supplement to the historical index by J.J. Colledge (1986) *|
|THE HUNTS: A history of the design, development and careers of the 86 destroyers of this class built for the Royal and Allied Navies during World War II by J.I. English (1987) *|
|THE TOWNS: A history of the fifty destroyers transferred from the United States to Great Britain in 1940 by Arnold Hague (1988) *|
|PROCEEDINGS OF NAVAL MEETINGS edited by Dr R.H. Osborne (1989)|
|LEANDER CLASS FRIGATES: A history of their design and development 1958-90 by DR R.H. Osborne & D.A.Sowdon (1990) *|
|REGISTER OF TYPE VII U-BOATS by Thomas A. Adams & David J. Lees (1990)*|
|CONVOYS TO RUSSIA 1941 – 1945 by Bob Ruegg & Arnold Hague (1992)*|
|SLOOPS 1926 – 1946 by Arnold Hague (1993) *|
|AMAZON TO IVANHOE: British standard destroyers of the 1930s by J.E. English (1993) *|
|CONVOY RESCUE SHIPS 1940 – 1945 by Arnold Hague (1998) *|
|WARSHIPS FOR EXPORT: Armstrong Warships1867 – 1927 by Peter Brook (1999)|
|AFRIDI TO NIZAM: British Fleet Destroyers 1937- 1943 by J.I. English (2001)|
|BUILDING FOR VICTORY: The Warship Building Programmes of the Royal Navy 1939 – 1945 by George Moore (2003) *|
|ADMIRALTY JOB NUMBERS 1939 – 1945 by George Moore (2004) *|
|ADMIRALTY COASTAL SALVAGE VESSELS by David Sowdon (2005) *|
|ARMED MERCHANT CRUISERS 1879 – 1945 by Richard Osborne, Harry Spong & Tom Grover, published in 2007|
|OBDURATE TO DARING: British Fleet Destroyers 1941 – 1945 by J.I. English (2009) *|
|GRAND FLEET DESTROYERS Volume 1: Flotilla Leaders and V/W Class Destroyers by J.I. English (2019)|