Saturday, September 22, 2007
Jane's Fighting Ships
I am a great fan of the old Jane's Fighting Ships. The volumes form 1899 to 1904 are especially good. The volumes from 1919 to 1921 are also very useful, as were the volumes from 1936 to 1945. A general feature of the older Janes were that they did not actually reflect the ships as they were completed, but were more like intelligence reports or even press reports. They aided and abetted the British navy in the 1905 to 1914 period, when they printed disinformation designed to fool the Germans. They have a different slant, being more graphically oriented than Brassey's, which I also like. For a long time, I didn't appreciate Brassey's, as I was looking for the drawings and photographs, but I came to appreciate how much good information they had. The older volumes, such as from the 1880's up to 1905 are good sources of ship and gun information that go below the level of detail that is the Conway's volumes.