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book cover of Battle-Cruisers


A History 1908-48
A non fiction book by

A lean and hungry breed of warship, the battle cruisers burned their names deeply into the annals of sea-warfare.

Fast and heavy-gunned, the battle-cruiser could overhaul and destroy anything at sea except the battleship.

The brain child of Admiral Jacky Fisher, the battle-cruiser was intended to be light, fast, and able to avoid action with ships-of-the-line.

However, the battle-cruisers came to be treated as fast battleships

... And expected to fight as a battleship.

But their design rendered them vulnerable and left them outmatched.

This weakness was cruelly exposed at the battle of Jutland in 1916, where three of the battle-cruisers exploded.

Known as the 'Splendid Cats' for their speed and viciousness, battle cruisers fought at Heligoland Bight, the Falkland's Islands, Dogger Bank and Jutland.

Following the First World War the battle-cruisers biggest enemy was the scrapyard.

Once more the world was plunged into war, and four battle-cruisers would be lost during the Second World War.

The most famous is perhaps the Hood, following the action against the Bismark.

Only the Renown survived both world wars, yet she was condemned to the breaker's yard in the summer of 1948.

From the far side of the world to home waters, the battle-cruisers played a vital part in the British war effort.

Combining meticulous research with a novelist's flair for storytelling, Battle-Cruisers vividly describes the life and times of the sixteen battle-cruisers built for the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy.

Yet ships do not fight on their own. This is also the story of the men who served, lived, fought and faced adversity in these floating worlds.

Ronald Bassett (1924-1996) was born in Chelsea. During the Munich crisis, at age fourteen, he falsified enlistment papers to become a Rifleman of the King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th Rifles). Following active service, he was exposed and discharged. In his records, his colonel noted, 'A good soldier. I am sorry to lose him.' Undismayed, he immediately entered the Royal Navy, in which he remained for fourteen years, serving in the Arctic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, the Far East and, later, Korea. He died in Surrey.


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Used availability for Ronald Bassett's Battle-Cruisers

Hardback Editions

May 1981 : UK Hardback

Title: Battle-Cruisers
Author(s): Ronald Bassett
ISBN: 0-333-28164-0 / 978-0-333-28164-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macmillan
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

August 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Battle-Cruisers: A History 1908-48
Author(s): Ronald Bassett
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA