Friday 27 October 2023

The Windfall Battleships

The front cover….

….and the back

The latest addition to my naval library is Aidan Dodson’s book: The Windfall Battleships - Agincourt, Canada, Erin, Eagle and the Balkan and Latin-American Arms Races, published by Seaforth. 

This is a peach of a book covering as does the design and service of the ships mentioned as well as the commercial and political shenanigans around selling state of the art naval hardware to countries that would struggle to afford and maintain them. As well as plenty of plans and photos - many of which I have not seen before - the book includes details of both the Balkan and South American naval arms races and also a listing of ships ordered and being built at foreign shipyards. 

Any mention of ‘Balkans’ will always get my attention and with the coverage of the Turks, along with some cracking ‘before and after’ photos of the numerous Turkish rebuilds, the book is a veritable goldmine for any Ottoman Navy aficionado….mentioning no names, naturally.

The goodies do not stop there as the coverage of the South American naval situation is, if anything, me detailed. 

The chapters include the following:

1. August1914 and Beyond

2. The Latin-American Connection

3. The Balkan Connection

4. With the Grand Fleet

5. Alternative Service: Erin, Canada and Agincourt

6. Alternative Service: Eagle

7. Ends and New Beginnings

8. The Ageing Queens of Latin America

9. Retrospect

Aside from notes, bibliography and index the appendices also includes the following:

Warships Under Construction for Foreign Powers in August 1914

There is a rich vein of potential gaming goodies in here and all featuring navies that are modest in size and  easily modelled. The range of ships that were designed and not built, ordered and not paid for or built and requisitioned is vast and for the naval gamer this is like manna from heaven. 

As I flicked through the pages I found myself pondering a little over what Eric Knowles would have done with such a book…

Very highly recommended!


Aly Morrison said...

That does sound interesting David…
Yours butterfly is certainly fluttering well at the moment 😁

All the best. Aly

David Crook said...

Hello there Aly,

Guilty as charged BUT….. front loading for retirement…. :-)

Seriously though, it is a fascinating book with much in the way of gaming potential.

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Dangerous to know that this book exists!