The Torpedo Boat Destroyers (TBDs) of the 1890s--the first destroyers--were among the most glamorous naval vessels ever built. With their remarkable speed, their connotations of David and Gliath, and their initial deployment against the Royal Navy’s traditional enemy, the
French, they caught the public imagination, while the command of one was coveted by all young naval officers. Drawing on Admiralty documents and plans, the author has compiled a brilliant collection of
data on the early development of these vessels up to the River class of 1900. He also looks at the German response and the development in the US, particularly the Bainbridge class with its distinct raised forecastle.
With its superb plans and drawings and entirely original research, this book is an essential reference for all naval historians, enthusiast and modelmakers with an interest in the development of one of the twentieth century’s most exciting warships.
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DAVID LYON spent his working life at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, where for over twenty years he looked after the huge ships’ plans collection before becoming Curator of Naval Ordnance, then Head of Enquiries and finally Chief of Research of the Maritime Information Centre. He served in the Royal Navy Reserve and having qualified as a diving officer, was instrumental in the development of underwater archaeology in Britain, diving on the Mary Rose amongst others. He is a member of the Council of the Society for Nautical Research and of the Nautical Museums Trust. He has written and lectured extensively both in Britain and abroad an his many publications include The Sailing Navy List, The Denny List, Steam, Steel and Torpedoes, and Sea Battles in Close-up: The Nelson Era. He has first-hand experience of all manner of craft and now shares with his wife a double-ended yole which they sail in the Thames estuary.Review:
"The First Destroyers provides an in-depth history based on original sources of the Torpedo Boat Destroyers of the 1890s - the first ever built. Admiralty documents and plans are used to reveal the history and development of these vessels. Plenty of photos, diagrams and descriptions enhance an excellent coverage." -- Midwest Book Review
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