The Seaforth World Naval Review, 2018 edited by Conrad Waters, 192 pages, ISBN: 9781526720092 and published 15 November 2017 Seaforth Publishing has provided a balanced round-up of World Fleets currently and for the coming year.
The book is a well written, easy to read and well illustrated discussion of current naval power world-wide with a number of well-known authors and illustrators contributing to the overall volume.
The book is divided into four main sections:
- Overview – a summary of the overall contents including a summary of the change in defence expenditures over the previous 10 years by country; Fleet Reviews ad Major Fleet Strengths; Significant ships being reviews in the current volume; and Technological Developments
- World Fleet Reviews – this section is broken up by Regions:
- North and South America
- Asia and the Pacific
- The ROKN: Balancing blue water ambitions with regional threats
- Indian Ocean and Africa
- Europe and Russia
- The Royal Navy: the start of a new era
- Significant Ships
- Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers
- Baden-Württemberg Class
- Otago Class OPVs
- Technological Reviews
- World Naval Aviation
- A New Age of Weapons – lasers and rail guns
- Royal Navy Guided Weapons – new missile systems
- Modern Warship Accomodation – where the crews sleep
Contributors to the volume include Richard Beedall, David Hobbs, Bruno Huriet, Mrityunjoy Mazumday, Norman Friedman, Richard Scott, Guy Toremans, and Conrad Waters.
I particularly enjoyed the section on lasers and railguns (I’ve been reading too much science fiction lately), the significant ships section, and the Fleet Reviews. I’m not sure why the editor persists with a section called “North America” consisting as it does with the huge US fleet and the modest Canadian fleets only. The US really reserves its own section – perhaps split in the future to the US, and the Rest of the Americas.
The book itself is well illustrated with photographs from official sources of lots of vessels – most in black and white with a few in colour, with perhaps my favourite colour photo being of HMNZS Wellington sailing past an iceberg in October 2015. Ship drawings are by Norman Friedman.
I am looking forward to next year’s publication already and World Naval Review, 2018 now joins my bookshelf next to the space for Warship 2018. Recommended for anyone with an interest in modern naval fleets.